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Alehouse Pays, Gets Training after Racial Discrimination Decision

The Halifax Alehouse has been directed to educate management and staff on racial profiling and cultural competencies in human rights in a decision on remedies released today, June 3, by Board of Inquiry Chair Walter Thompson.

In his June 2013 decision in the case of Gilpin v. Halifax Alehouse Ltd., Mr. Thompson found that Alehouse staff discriminated against Dino Gilpin based on his race on the evening of Feb. 20, 2010. In the restorative process that followed, Alehouse management, staff, Mr. Gilpin, Mr. Thompson, and a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission facilitator worked together to determine how the matter would be remedied.

In addition to their education, a measure Mr. Thompson hopes will help other, similar establishments recognize the potential damages of racism and racial profiling, the Alehouse has been ordered to pay Mr. Gilpin $6,875 in damages.

In his decision, Mr. Thompson makes reference to Working Together to Better Serve Nova Scotians, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission’s report on consumer racial profiling in Nova Scotia published a year ago.

The study, the first of its kind in Canada, found that more than any other ethnic groups in Nova Scotia, Aboriginal and African Nova Scotians say that when they shop for goods and services they are treated poorly.

This case is an example of this practice, which can occur through intentional or subconscious stereotyping.

“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” writes Mr. Thompson. “The root of the problem in Mr. Gilpin’s case was a certain ‘macho,’ hard-nosed attitude which, in the end, amounted to a lack of courtesy, an indifference to Mr. Gilpin.”

The prescribed training applies to managers, supervisors, and any staff who have been working for the Halifax Alehouse for more than three years. This also includes its associated bars and facilities located at or near the corners of Brunswick and Prince Streets.

Mr. Thompson acknowledges the constructive participation of Alehouse management and staff in the restorative process to determine these remedies. This helped diminish the lasting harms of the case, an acknowledgement Tracey Williams, director and CEO of the Human Rights Commission, is happy to read.

“When the people involved in instances of discrimination come together to discuss their experience, their take on what happened, there is an opportunity for constructive conversations to take place that help to understand what broke down, what happened and how we all can do our part to treat others with dignity and respect,” said Ms. Williams.

Mr. Thompson’s full decision is informative for any management and staff of service sector businesses.

It, along with Working Together, can be found online at http://humanrights.gov.ns.ca .

Source: Release

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