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Business Law: Dollarama’s Age-Based Restrictions

Interesting article from Huffington Post recounted Dollarama’s policy, in one of its Ontario-based stores of limiting access by high school students to ‘one-at-a-time.’  I view this policy as extremely problematic, and am not convinced by Dollarama’s justifications.  First, if Ontario’s Human Rights Code is akin to Nova Scotia’s, I simply do not see how the company overcomes what might be deemed age discrimination.

Next, although there may be understandable concerns regarding theft, there are remedies that could be adopted that do not involve restricting teens to enter the store one at a time.  Dollarama is, from my understanding a profitable operation that could simply hire another employee for loss prevention.  Under this current policy, presumably the one teen is also subject to constant monitoring while in the store — seemingly, an untenable situation.

Last, I am concerned by Dollarama’s justification that this is nothing more than an extension of their policy on restricting groups from entering at once.  Does this mean that anyone who is accompanied by 1-2 other individuals a “group?”  Also, is this an arbitrary labeling of what constitutes a “group?”  High schoolers likely travel in groups of less than 5 (speaking as — a long time ago — a former high schooler).  Is this a group, or rather is Dollarama simply classifying all high school students into one single, large “group?”  The latter possibility would appear extremely problematic, especially if challenged under a human rights-styled code.

 

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