A father has filed a class-action age-discrimination lawsuit against New York City Ballet (NYCB) for barring his 3-year-old daughter from attending shows at Lincoln Center because she is unvaccinated.
The New York City Ballet requires its attendees, including kids, to get vaccinated. However, the plaintiff’s daughter is too young to receive the experimental shot. There is still no FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine for kids ages four years old and below. Only children ages 5 through 11 years are eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the lawsuit, “Defendant’s ostensible rationale for discriminating against children under five in the enjoyment of its public accommodation cannot be credited, given that defendant prohibits entry of some unvaccinated individuals who present an exceedingly low risk of COVID- 19 transmission while allowing entry of other unvaccinated individuals — the disabled and some religious believers—who present a far higher risk of such.”
New York Post reported:
Her dad — identified in court documents as C.L. – brought a class-action age-discrimination lawsuit against the NYCB for their policy which requires patrons to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Wednesday.
The city lifted the proof-of-vaccination mandate for businesses in March.
The toddler, who is taking weekly ballet lessons, saw a billboard at the Lincoln Center for performances she wanted to attend. But she couldn’t see the shows at the David H. Koch Theater in May 2022 because she isn’t 5 — the minimum age that the Centers for Disease Control has deemed eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, her suit claims.
“We were riding the bus and she is the one who saw [the billboard] and got excited like ‘Daddy, daddy! I want to go see the ballet!” the 49-year-old father told The Post. “There were many shows that she wanted to watch but she couldn’t watch any of them.”
“Why should an entire age group be precluded from going? It’s classic age discrimination,” the Upper West Side dad said.
“The arts serve as an educational experience, a cultural experience and also an artistic experience,” C.L. said. “To preclude an entire class of individuals from that experience would seem to be unfair.”
C.L., who asked his full name not be used, sent an email to the ballet about this issue but he never received an answer, the suit alleges.
The suit claims that the ballet allows exemptions for medical and religious reasons for adults — who are more of a risk of spreading the virus than children under 5 would be.
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