DFEH and Palace Entertainment Reach Settlement in Religious Discrimination Investigation

May 10, 2017

For Immediate Release

Amusement parks will change policies barring park-goers with religious headwear from attractions

SACRAMENTO — The owners of several Boomers! amusement park locations will pay $32,000, revise their policies, and provide training to staff to resolve five complaints of discrimination filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the agency announced today. The complaints were brought against Festival Fun Parks, LLC, doing business as Palace Entertainment, which owns the Boomers! locations. Boomers! is a nationwide amusement park chain.

DFEH investigated allegations that Palace Entertainment violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by barring seven Muslim women and girls, as well as a Sikh man, from go-kart attractions at its Vista, Irvine, and Livermore locations because each wore an Islamic headscarf (hijab) or Sikh turban. Boomers! claimed its “no headwear” policy was motivated by safety concerns and was applicable to all customers, but the complainants alleged the policy was selectively enforced against Muslim and Sikh customers. Two of the complainants were represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Under the agreement, Palace Entertainment will revise its policies to welcome customers with religious headwear while preserving its commitment to their safety. Many amusement parks, including Boomers! locations under different ownership, welcome customers who wear secure religious headwear on gokarts and other attractions. Palace Entertainment will likewise open its go-kart rides to customers wearing securely wrapped Sikh turbans and hijabs. Palace Entertainment will lend customers wearing loose, flowing headscarves or loose turbans safety pins, thathas (a cloth frequently used by Sikh men and tied at the top of the head), or specially designed turban-nets. Palace Entertainment will also require anti-discrimination and sensitivity training for its California employees for five years and hire a neutral third-party to monitor the implementation of the policy changes for eighteen months to ensure the uniform application of the new policies.

In addition to the changes to promote compliance with antidiscrimination laws, Palace Entertainment will pay $4,000 in compensation to each of the eight individuals turned away from its go-karts because of their religious headwear, totaling $32,000.

“The law guarantees Californians of all faiths access to places of business and entertainment, and safety concerns must be founded on more than speculation or stereotype,” said Kevin Kish, Director of the DFEH. “We are pleased that Palace Entertainment worked with DFEH to achieve resolution of these cases without the need for litigation.”


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.

Communication Center: 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY) or
California's Relay Service at 711 | contact.center@calcivilrights.ca.gov