As a rule, if you have a business you must serve all types of clients. And if you want to provide separate services exclusively to women, respectively to men, you need to justify, objectively, supplying them. Also, you have to fulfill other conditions which show that public services are less efficient, or that the needs of women and the need for men are different.

According to article 10 (a) and (b) and article 26 paragraph 1 of Emergency Ordinance 137/2000 regarding the prevention and the punishment of all forms of discrimination, the refusal of access of someone or a group of people to the services offered by the exhibitions, restaurants, shops, etc. represents contravention and it is sanctioned with fine from 400 lei to 8.000 lei, except where this restriction is objectively justified by a legitimate purpose, and methods of achieving the purpose are appropriate and necessary.

This legitimate purpose must be justified from a case to case – for example, the staff is specially prepared to serve male clients at a barber shop and female clients at the hair salon, for objective reasons. But it will always consider the fact that these have to be treated as exceptions, not as a rule in offering goods and services.

Ioana Peagu – Paralegal

R&R Partners

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