B.C. woman loses bid to enjoy Starbucks 0
A banned Starbucks patron who alleged discrimination due to her Iranian heritage and mental illness has lost her bid to come back and enjoy her daily cuppa.
Azadeh Azad began going to a Victoria Starbucks every day in July 2011, bringing her laptop so she could write, which helped her combat loneliness.
A recent B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said Azad started bringing a “daylight” lamp during her writing to alleviate her seasonal affective disorder.
But two days later, a shift supervisor told her to turn off the lamp — the store had received a complaint from a customer.
“After turning the light off, the complainant (Azad) states that she approached ‘every single’ customer in the store … and asked if the lamp was bothering them,” wrote adjudicator Diana Juricevic.
“According to her, every customer (about 20 people) replied in the negative.”
Azad alleged the Starbucks employees fabricated the complaint in effort to be rid of her, and that she was the subject of derogatory comments, and overheard the store manager say one time, “in Canada, we don’t like terrorists.”
The tribunal found no evidence of the discrimination. Further, according to Starbucks, there had been another incident where it’s alleged Azad cussed at a customer who said “hello” to her. On another occasion, it’s alleged Azad asked a customer to move, twice, because he was talking loudly to another guest in the seat beside her.
“Despite her request, the complainant states that, over the next few weeks, the male customer continued to greet her, invaded her ‘private space,’ prevented her from working, and caused her ‘enormous stress.’”
Azad eventually threatened to call police, according to the tribunal. The police arrived the next day on Feb. 25, 2012, at the request of the store manager who ordered Azad to leave, and escorted her out.