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Teenage Girl Receives Over $27,000 in Damages for Discrimination at Work

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Discrimination Case at Vancouver Juice Bar

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A 13-year-old Black female employee at Heirloom, a renowned juice bar and restaurant located in Vancouver, has been awarded over $27,000 in damages by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. The girl, referred to in the case as AB, was unjustly singled out and accused of theft by the juice bar's manager, Nicholas Stone. This accusation revolved around shortages in the cash register, despite a lack of evidence confirming AB's involvement in the matter.

Manager's Actions Ruled as Discriminatory

According to the tribunal's findings, the manager's actions, which included baselessly accusing AB of theft and subsequently moving her to the back of the store, were likely driven by discrimination. When AB decided to leave her job at Heirloom, Stone declined to provide her with a reference letter, an action also believed to be influenced by discriminatory beliefs.

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Tribunal's Ruling and Compensation Breakdown

In light of these events, the tribunal ordered Heirloom and its manager, Nicholas Stone, to pay AB a total of $27,862 in damages. This sum consists of $25,000 for damages to AB's dignity, feelings, and self-respect, $2,496 for lost wages, and $366 for expenses. To reach this decision, the tribunal took into account both the discriminatory actions of Nicholas Stone and the emotional and financial impact these actions had on AB.

Owner's Testimony on Cash Register Shortages

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During the tribunal hearing, William Greer, the owner of Heirloom, testified that cash register shortages were a common occurrence at the juice bar and restaurant. Greer explained that these shortages were usually due to mistakes made by inexperienced workers and were not considered a significant issue. Despite this, AB was the only employee singled out and accused of theft in relation to the register shortages.

Implications of the Ruling

The ruling of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining an unbiased and respectful work environment. It highlights the responsibility of employers and managers to treat all employees equitably, regardless of their age, race, or gender. This case, and the significant compensation awarded to AB, demonstrates the severe implications of failing to uphold these responsibilities.

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