Toronto Restaurant Ordered to Pay $10K for Requiring Black Diners to Prepay

A Chinese restaurant in Toronto was sued for violating the human rights code after the server asked Emile Wickham and his friends to pre-pay for their meal.

Wickman was celebrating his birthday at Hong Shing restaurant with friends when he was asked to pre-pay for his meal. 

Wickman asked other patrons in the restaurant if they had to pre-pay and they answered “no”. After realizing they were the only black people in the restaurant he questioned the server who agreed that he was the only one asked to pre-pay.

Wickman filed a lawsuit and the judge ruled that the restaurant was in violation of the human rights code, “His mere presence as a black man in a restaurant was presumed to be sufficient evidence of his presumed propensity to engage in criminal behavior,” Judge Codjoe said.

Representatives for the restaurant didn’t show up for the hearing but stated six months after the complaint was filed that they had been getting a “transient crowd” and adopted the pre-pay policy to avoid dine and dashing.

Have you ever been asked to prepay for a meal at a restaurant?



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