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Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)

Hong Kong equality watchdog wins interlocutory judgment in ‘ladies’ night’ case as club’s owner fails to show up

Cheaper drinks for women is gender discrimination, says Equal Opportunities Commission in case against Legend World Asia Group

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 April, 2016, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 April, 2016, 12:38pm

Hong Kong’s equal opportunities watchdog secured an interlocutory judgment on Wednesday against a club over gender-based discounts offered at its “ladies’ night” events after it failed to give any notice of opposition.

District judge Justin Ko King-sau accepted the Equal Opportunities Commission’s application for a judgement after respondent Legend World Asia Group, the company that owns the karaoke and disco club at the centre of the case, failed to give a notice of opposition before the deadline.

Legend World Asia Group was absent in court on Wednesday.

Last orders for Ladies’ Nights? Cheaper drinks for women is sex discrimination, man tells Hong Kong’s equal opportunities watchdog

The watchdog filed the case at the District Court in October on behalf of a male complainant accusing the club of breaching sex discrimination laws by charging men more for drinks than women. It argued that sex-based pricing policies were unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.

A legal representative for the commission told the court the claimant had given up his claim for a declaration and request for the club to change its policy. Instead, the representative said, the claimant would seek damages only for injury to feelings, the amount of which is to be further assessed.

While giving a judgement in favour of the commission, district judge Justin Ko King-sau asked what the practical benefit for proceeding with the case was, as the respondent appeared to be “not interested”.

For the judgement to take effect, the commission still has to file supplementary documents to show the court papers it served were addressed to the respondent.