A Queens man is suing an Inwood nightclub over its ladies’ night policy, saying he was asked to pay a $20 cover while women were let in free.

Patrick McDowell, of Queens, filed a suit alleging Republica Lounge on Dyckman Street discriminated against men by holding a ladies’ night promotion, the NY Post reports. (Many women have also noted they had to pay on advertised ladies nights at this very establishment.)

McDowell’s suit further alleges that the club had not gotten permission to hold ladies’ night from the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Gothamist has reached out to the Commission for comment.

“They must apply to the New York City Commission on Human Rights for express permission to discriminate on the basis of sex,” McDowell claims in the suit, which demands $50,000 in damages. That’s not a small sum: it’s roughly equivalent to the amount some women lose to the gender pay gap over five years, according to Census Bureau data.

On typical nights at Republica, women get in free before midnight and men get in free before 11 p.m., an employee of the club told Gothamist. The employee declined to comment further because the matter was in litigation.

Disgruntled men in several states have successfully sued under civil rights legislation to ban business practices like giving women discounts or freebies. In California, the practice of women-only discounts at carwashes and nightclubs has been successfully outlawed, with courts ruling that “differential pricing based on sex may be generally detrimental to both men and women, because it reinforces harmful stereotypes.”

However, in 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected one suit objecting to ladies’ nights drink specials in NYC.

The saying goes that if something comes for free, you’re usually the product—and that’s definitely true of nightclubs letting women in free of charge.

Update: Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) press person Alicia McCauley sent us this statement: “It is against the New York City Human Rights Law to discriminate against anyone on the basis of gender in housing, public accommodations, or employment. All claims of discrimination brought to the NYC Commission on Human Rights will be investigated.”