NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday an agreement has been reached with the owners of a popular midtown Manhattan nightclub, ensuring consumers have equal access.
Schneiderman's office received numerous complaints about Circle's admissions practices and policies. The attorney general's Civil Rights Bureau alleged the club excluded customers on the basis of race and ethnicity.
Under the terms of the agreement, Circle must adopt new policies to stop discriminatory treatment and come into compliance with state law.
Circle also must pay $20,000 in penalties, $2,000 in restitution to a patron repeatedly denied entry to the club and $500 to several other patrons who allegedly received discriminatory treatment at the door of the club.
"Any business in New York state that is open to the public must be open to all races and ethnicities, and discrimination will not be tolerated," Schneiderman said in a statement. "That's just as true in New York City's vibrant nightclubs as it is anywhere else.
"A resolution like this ensures another step toward equal treatment for all consumers in New York."
Circle allegedly admitted patrons of Korean descent, while denying similar patrons of other ethnicities and races. It also allegedly forced individuals in the latter groups to buy expensive bottle service or make reservations in advance, but allegedly did not require the same of its Korean patrons.
The New York Civil Rights Law and the New York Human Rights Law prohibit places of public accommodation from denying access to an individual on the basis of race or national origin.