“She requested waxing of her scrotum” – Human Rights Tribunal’s ruling against Jessica Yaniv

On October 22, 2019 the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal issued its ruling in the legal case between Jessica Yaniv (the complainant) and various waxing salons (Blue Heaven Beauty Lounge and Sandeep Benipal, Suhki Hehar and Sukhi Beauty Dream Salon, Marcia DaSilva, Hina Moin, Pam Dulay, Judy Tran and Merle Norman):

[1] Jessica Yaniv is a transgender woman. All of the Respondents operate businesses which offer waxing services. Ms. Yaniv requested waxing services from each of the Respondents. In five cases, she requested waxing of her scrotum. In two, she requested waxing of her arms or legs. In each case, she told the Respondent that she was a transgender woman and the Respondent refused to provide Ms. Yaniv with service. Ms. Yaniv says that this refusal to serve her is discrimination on the basis of her gender identity and expression, in violation of s. 8 of the Human Rights Code [Code].

[2] With one exception, all of the Respondents are women who advertised their services through Facebook Marketplace. They were either providing the service out of their home, or in the client’s home. Most of them presented as racialized, with English not their first language. Only three Respondents presented a defence to Ms. Yaniv’s complaints. These characteristics are significant because they support my conclusion that Ms. Yaniv has engaged in a pattern of filing human rights complaints which target small businesses for personal financial gain and/or to punish certain ethnic groups which she perceives as hostile to the rights of LGBTQ+ people.

[3] In this decision, I analyse Ms. Yaniv’s complaints in two categories: genital waxing cases and cases involving arm and leg waxing. In the genital waxing cases, I find that scrotum waxing was not a service customarily provided by the Respondents. As such, they did not deny Ms. Yaniv a service and did not discriminate against her. I dismiss these complaints under s. 37(1) of the Code. In the leg and arm waxing cases, I find that Ms. Yaniv filed the complaints for improper purposes. I dismiss these complaints under s. 27(1)(e) of the Code.

[4] The three Respondents which presented a defence were all represented by Jay Cameron and Brandon Langhelm of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms [JCCF]. Ms. Yaniv has applied for an order of costs against these Respondents arising out of conduct which she attributes to Mr. Cameron and the JCCF. She also applies for costs specifically against the Respondent Sukhdip Hehar. I dismiss all of Ms. Yaniv’s applications for costs. I do, however, find that Ms. Yaniv has engaged in improper conduct during the course of this complaint. I order her to pay the represented Respondents $2,000 each.

The ruling is available here.

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