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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Editorial: Alternative approval process is not the enemy

Not everything should go to a referendum.

Provincial success stands out at Cowichan Secondary awards

Wrestling, basketball and field hockey teams earn recognition in shortened year

One piper piping during the pandemic

Tribute to health care workers reaches the 100th performance

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read