Phyllis Orrick 8:30 a.m., Sept. 21
Car Rental Agency Sued for Offering Gay and Lesbian Discounts
An Arizona woman has initiated a class-action suit alleging discrimination based on her sexual orientation by Avis Rent A Car.
Lynn Evenchik claims that Avis’ practice of offering discounts to members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce constitutes a violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from offering discounts to customers based on sexual orientation.
Evenchik paid $311.36 to rent a car from Avis at San Diego International Airport for a period of one week in July of 2011. She later learned that members of the aforementioned groups received discount codes entitling them to 20 to 25 percent off standard rental rates due to marketing agreements Avis had entered into with the organizations.
“These unfair and unlawful business practices result in many consumers who are not affiliated with those organizations paying substantially higher rental rates than those made available to gay and lesbian renters,” the complaint states.
Evenchik is seeking damages and restitution on behalf of anyone who rented a car from Avis since the company began offering the discounts, which is believed to have begun around September 2010.
She also seeks an injunction to stop Avis from continuing to offer reduced rates to members of the gay and lesbian organizations.