For example, a millionaire forms an LLC to sell lemonade on the sidewalk and they put a job posting in the local newspaper where they specified that only a person of a particular ethnicity, marital status, and gender would be hired. He then rejected applicants accordingly.

The LLC has only a few planks of wood and a bag of lemons as its assets.

Is there anything that anyone could do legally to this millionaire?

  • 2
    Are you aware of the concept of piercing the corporate veil? Nov 18, 2022 at 4:55
  • 1
    @NateEldredge I don't see any basis for piercing the veil here, do you?
    – bdb484
    Nov 18, 2022 at 9:50
  • Small businesses (less than 15 employees, which is the case here) are exempt from Title VII (Civil Rights Act), the ADA, and ADEA acts so while morally abhorrent, nothing you listed is illegal. So the job posting can say they want straight, white, Christian males aged 25-28 with brown hair and blue eyes and that's perfectly fine.
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 18, 2022 at 13:03
  • @bdb484: Why not? If we assume the discrimination is illegal in the jurisdiction in question (which I think was the intent of the question), then it seems the LLC was formed deliberately to violate that law with impunity and deny the injured parties the ability to recover damages. Which certainly sounds to me like a fraudulent purpose. Nov 18, 2022 at 15:12
  • @RonBeyer: The question isn't tagged united-states. And even within the US, state law also applies, and may not have the "small business" exception. Colorado does not, for instance. Nov 18, 2022 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


The corporate veil can be pierced if the millionaire failed to sink in sufficient assets for the business to meet reasonably expected liabilities. In particular, the millionaire should have funded the LLC sufficient to hire qualified people and secure business liability insurance.

Further, anytime a corporate structure is set up specifically to be a liability shield and not with other reasonable reasons, it will generally be vacated by the courts. See Asset Protection by Atkisson & Riser, a must-read in this field. I know you are trying to create a "straw man" example for simplicity, but unfortunately the character and obvious purpose of the LLC does have a bearing on its survivability. Hardly anyone creates an LLC for a lemonade stand, which begs the question of "why do it".

It may be a defense against discrimination if the job listing was so particularly specific that the millionaire's child or ward was the only possible candidate, and then it could be defended as an educational exercise to show the ward how businesses are set up. Rather than an attempt to discriminate in any disallowed way.

  • There are a variety of ways that this correct conclusion could be reached. Fraudulent transfer acts and corporate veil piercing could both apply. Also if the owner is personally involved in managing the company or making the decision, there could be personal liability in that way.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 18, 2022 at 23:06

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