A Toronto court has ruled in favor of a man who was racially discriminated against by employees at a Chinese restaurant.
Emile Wickham, who is Afro-Caribbean, is set to receive $10,000 Canadian from Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant in downtown Toronto for the violation. The ruling came down on April 18th, but the restaurant has said that they will appeal the ruling.
According to official court documents, Wickham, now 31 years old, and his three friends were out celebrating Wickham’s 28th birthday when they were asked by employees at the establishment to pay for their meals prior to being served. When Wickham complained and asked why they were being asked to pay upfront, he was told that it was restaurant policy.
Perplexed by this concept, Wickham went table-to-table asking others if they had been told the same policy, to which no one said that this was the case, according to reports by CNN. Wickham and his friends were reportedly the only Black people in the restaurant at the time of the incident.
Regardless of their concerns, the group agreed to pay their bill prior to the meal which was followed by the four of them being photographed individually by a restaurant staff member and their photos placed in an exhibit according to the courts.
Almost a year after the incident that took place on May 3, 2014, Wickham, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and lived in Canada for 11 years, filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal that led to the lawsuit against the restaurant.
A representative of the restaurant said in the court filings that due to an increase of “dine and dash” incidents at the establishment they adopted their prepay system.
“At this time we cannot comment further, beyond emphasizing that the current owner and staff are dedicated to be a committed, inclusive and responsible member of the community,” a representative of Hong Shing told CNN.
With the restaurant planning to appeal, Wickham has said that he will take the fight as far as he has to to get justice.