Zellers human rights allegation resolved 4 years after complainant dies
Kathleen Viner, then in her late 70s and now dead, said she was racially discriminated against in 2008
A 2008 human rights complaint alleging racial discrimination at a now-closed Greenwood, N.S., Zellers store has been resolved — four years after the woman who lodged the complaint died.
Kathleen Viner, then in her late 70s, was unfairly accused of stealing. She said she was detained by security and searched, even though she had a receipt for a rug she bought.
Viner said she was discriminated against for being black and began a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission.
Viner died in 2011 at the age of 81 after the commission had set up a board of inquiry into her case, but before her case could be heard.
However, the case continued on and used statements Viner made before she died.
The case was further complicated when Zellers' parent company, Hudson's Bay Company, sold the chain in 2011. All Zellers stores in Canada are closed.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission said Tuesday that Hudson's Bay Company has settled the complaint.
As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to develop and launch a program to teach its Nova-Scotia based floorwalkers about racial profiling and how to appropriately deal with customers.
Even so, the company does not believe the two Zellers clerks discriminated against Viner, according to the human rights commission.
The incident left a scar on Viner's life, one of her daughters told CBC News in 2013.
With files from Shaina Luck