Costco searching man’s backpack, not purses isn’t discrimination: Human Rights Tribunal

Customer claims he was discriminated against on the basis of his sex after store checked his backpack twice

Ryan Morris launched a human rights complaint against Costco after an employee demanded to check inside his backpack on his way out when women carrying purses were not subjected to the same search.

But his complaint won’t be heard by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal because on June 6 Tribunal member Pamela Murray dismissed it, agreeing with Costco’s application to have her do so on the grounds the complaint has no reasonable prospect of success.

“I have decided to dismiss the complaint,” Murray declared. “While Mr. Morris clearly sincerely believes Costco targeted him because he was carrying a backpack and treated him differently that women leaving the store carrying purses, large or otherwise, I find he has no reasonable prospect of persuading the Tribunal at a hearing that his sex was a factor in any adverse impact on him.”

READ ALSO: White Rock Pride Society files human rights complaint against Star of the Sea Church

READ ALSO: Tenant claims landlord discriminated against her for smudging

Murray heard that twice in the summer of 2017, when Morris was leaving a Costco store, an employee asked him to open his backpack so she could look inside.

Morris said none of many women leaving the store on both occasions were similarly searched despite carrying large purses, and he was very embarrassed because other customers stared as him during these checks. He claims he was discriminated against on the basis of his sex.

Morris told the Tribunal it was the same employee who stopped him on two separate days – on June 14, 2017 and July 26, 2017 – and the second time this happened at least 15 women passed by, all carrying handbags and purses, without being searched.

He said he asked to see a manager, who he claims told him Costco has the right to search his bag but not purses.

“Costco says women carrying backpacks would have them inspected and there is nothing from Mr. Morris in the materials before me to suggest otherwise,” Murray noted in her reasons for decision. “In my view, this demonstrates in the circumstances the absence of a connection between Mr. Morris’ backpack being searched and his sex.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River RCMP describe violent incident as ‘disturbing event’

Skatepark incident described by RCMP as ‘violence for violence[’s] sake’

North Island area timber supply under review

Review will inform annual cut for the next ten years

Campbell River homelessness groups prepare for winter in a pandemic

Winter presents unique challenges to people experiencing homelessness this year

The secret life of tadpoles

Vancouver Island photographer Maxwel Hohn’s documentary traces the ‘big little migration’ of western toad tadpoles

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read