A restaurant in Toronto has been ordered to pay $10,000 in compensation to a black customer after it forced him and three companions to pay for their meals in advance.
Newsweek (@newsweek) reports, The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that Hong Shing Chineese Restaurant, a popular eatery just east of Toronto’s Chinatown, violated the Canadian province’s human rights code when its staff treated Emile Wicklam, now 31, as a “potential thief in waiting” a ruling published by the Canadian Legal Information Institute states.
Wickham, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and immigrated to Canada 11 years ago, had visited Hong Shing in May to celebrate his birthday with friends. He was surprised, however, when he and his friends were asked to pay for their meals in advance shortly after placing their orders. The group asked the server why the were being asked to pre-pay for food, but obliged after being told it was restaurant policy.
Wickham questioned whether his group had been targeted by restaurant staff because they were black, and decided to poll other customers on whether they had also been ordered to pre-pay for their meals in advance. The answer was no, Wickham testified at the hearing.
When a server returned to Wickham’s table, he and his friends questioned them once again about the restaurant’s policies. The server eventually admitted that their group had been the only table forced to pre-pay.
The Human Rights Tribunal Adjudicator, Esi Codjoe found that restaurant staff had practiced anti-black racism, violating section 1 of Ontario’s human rights code, which demands equal treatment for customers accessing goods, services, and facilities.