Mary McCarthy – CNW Human Rights Legal Support CentreCUPE member Mary McCarthy has fought and won an important racial profiling case. On October 7, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled that a Shoppers Drug Mart employee had singled her out and accused her of shoplifting because she is a woman of colour.

The tribunal has ordered the store to pay McCarthy $8,000 for the racial profiling and discrimination she experienced. The employee had no evidence to accuse her of shoplifting. The award is for “compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.”

The tribunal’s vice-chair ruled that the employee who confronted McCarthy “was being influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the stereotype that Black people are thieves.”

The incident took place in 2011, in Toronto.

Commenting on the decision, McCarthy told the Toronto Star “Toronto is a wonderful, diverse city, but within it there is still a reliance on stereotypes and discrimination. People need to know those cannot come into the workplace…You have to treat everyone equally. This person did not.”

The victory is significant. Racial profiling cases can be hard to prove, said McCarthy’s lawyer in a statement.

Today, McCarthy is an employment counsellor in New Brunswick and a member of CUPE 1418-3.

McCarthy was a CUPE member and member of the National Rainbow Committee in the late 1990s. In 2011, she was pursuing her PhD at the University of Toronto.

Read more about this important win: