May Government Punish Business for Posting a "When Ordering Speak English" Sign?

Apropos a story that David Bernstein first covered in 2006:

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations will hold a public hearing Friday to address a controversial sign at the popular Geno's Steaks that has gained national attention.

The hearing was scheduled after allegations were made accusing Geno's Steaks of discrimination for posting a sign that reads: "This is America. When ordering speak English." ...

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations ... alleges Geno's is in violation of the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance - Chapter 9 Section 9-1105(A)(1)(b) of The Philadelphia Code.

The commission believes the sign discourages patronage by non-English speaking customers.

"Individuals who operate in a place of public accommodation cannot post signage or express messages that might have the resulting affect of making any group, any ethnicity, and any national origin person feel unwelcome," said Nick Taliaferro, Human Relations Commission....

Note, incidentally, the breadth of Mr. Taliaferro's assertion — presumably any speech that has the effect of making any group feel unwelcome (e.g., a posting of the Mohammed cartoons, an allegedly racist display, a Confederate flag, a supposedly sexist picture or slogan, and so on) is punishable when posted in a business, whether a pizza shop, a bookstore, a theater, or whatever else.

I should note that statements expressing an intent to engage in unlawful discrimination in a business transaction (for instance, "Blacks Not Served") may indeed be unprotected under the Court's rules related to commercial advertising, on the theory that they are akin to statements proposing an unlawful transaction. (They aren't quite, but that's how a 1973 case involving sex-based job advertisements, Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, has been interpreted in recent decades.) But it sounds like Philadelphia's theory is much broader than that; plus it's far from clear that rejecting orders in other languages — something that people who speak only one language routinely do — would be illegal in any event.

Thanks to Sebastian for the pointer.