The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a woman’s complaint about having to wear a face mask in a store, ruling it was based on the inconvenience of having to mask up.
Susan Adams filed a complaint against The Old Farm Market, a Vancouver Island chain, alleging it discriminated against her in the area of a service on the ground of physical disability.
In a Feb. 1 decision, tribunal chair Emily Ohler said Adams asserted the market initially denied her access because she said she could not wear a face mask.
Ohler said Adams said she had a disability and asked an employee if he could bring her goods out to her, but he refused. Then, Adams went to her car, got a face shield, and was allowed to enter the store to do her shopping.
“She has not denied that she was permitted to shop wearing a face shield,” Ohler said.
The market and owner Lorne Campbell applied to have the case dismissed.
To succeed in a complaint, Adams would need to establish she has a disability, that the respondents treated her adversely and that the adverse treatment was connected to her disability, Ohler said.
“There is no evidence to show that wearing a face shield constituted anything other than an inconvenience for Ms. Adams,” Ohler said.
Ohler said the store would be able to establish it had made a reasonable accommodation for Adams in allowing her to wear a face shield.
“Ms. Adams went to the Market to shop — she entered the market and did her shopping,” Ohler said.
The decision does not say what disability Adams said she had.