Twice now I have been humiliated at the check-out line in a Reno, NV Safeway store. I was purchasing a bottle of wine with a few other items my wife needed. At the check-out I was asked to show my ID and proof of age. I told the clerk, “Excuse me, I’m paying cash not credit card.” She told me I had to show proof of age and I responded, “That is bull shit, look at me.” I’m 72 years old and don’t look anything like a kid. The clerk called a manager and said I was swearing at her and refused to show my ID.” I left the items I wanted to purchase on the counter and walked out.
The first time this happened the clerk was a kid and I refused to show my ID to buy a bottle of alcohol, a nearby manager told the kid to let it go. But this last time was too humiliating for someone of my age to endure. It was an attempt of invasion of my privacy as well as publically humiliating. The must be some legal course or precedence on a case like this.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Very interesting question and thank you. I am somewhat, though not extremely so, your junior. If I am 'ID'd" which does happen from time to time. I consider it a compliment. That the clerk is paying me some attention in the best way they know how. Otherwise, it's so obvious that I'm not 27 or under, that for a time it was painful - slightly - or funny as it is now.
Of course that kind of good natured ribbing, can often look like, and also actually be a slight social malice and a kind of retaliation for you not paying any attention to them. Of course I don't know you or the people behind the counter, but this is the feeling I have always given it.
I believe the law says they are mandated to see your ID if you look, or actually are, under 27, for the purchase of tobacco products or alcohol. Some companies actually mandate a policy more stringent that tells the clerks to ID EVERYONE regardless of age so as to create a record as to a stringent policy and thereby attempt to avoid penalties for violation even at the cost of some efficiencies.
Having never looked at any discriminatory intent of this species, by any larger type store, I doubt it highly. They are as old as either of us, and they want your dime as much as the next guy. Whether some kid or adult with whatever agenda or reason might pay you this perhaps at times backhanded compliment is discriminating against you in the eyes of the law? Frankly, I don't see it. It would also be expensive to prosecute, unless you, or a high number of other similarly situated to you at least have the same report, it wouldn't be economically feasible. It's just the rough and tumble of life. Again, thank you for the question.