To whom it may concern at Home Hardware,
A Tecumseh Home Hardware store (1613 Lesperance Road) may be creating a hostile and even dangerous work environment for its employees and customers, making Home Hardware vulnerable to potential legal action.
I’d like to bring a facebook post to your attention: https://www.facebook.com/tecumsehhomehardwareinstalls/posts/5905656196172288
The co-owner of this store, Kimberly Seguin-Gauthier, writes,
“As the numbers are starting to climb, I would just like to remind everyone that a mask or a full face shield (for those that can’t wear a mask) is required when entering our store. We do offer other services to accommodate those who cannot wear a mask such as phone or on-line orders with minimal if any, wait.
“We know you are frustrated, we all are. Having said that, please do not take this out on our team. They are not in a position to discuss our policies that we as owners deemed appropriate to keep our staff and community safe. If you feel it necessary to call our employees sheep and accuse them of being brainwashed, we will kindly ask you to leave. Although we appreciate the support and certainly do not wish to turn away any business, the safety of our customers and the mental health of our team, takes precedence. Please feel free to contact myself, Kimberly, if you would would like to express any concerns.” [screencap]
I accepted Kimberly’s invitation to call with concerns. A recording of the call can be found here:
Since Kimberly described confrontations between staff and customers, I am concerned that her store’s policies may be putting staff in harm’s way by requiring them to confront mask-exempt shoppers.
Please help Kimberly clarify to her staff that her store’s policy is to accept mask exemptions when they are declared, as is in keeping with federal and provincial law, to protect the physical and psychological safety of customers and staff.
For a concise and sourced overview of laws relevant to Ontario masking exemptions, please visit this link: https://standupwindsor.ca/laws-and-information-relevant-to-ontario-mask-exemptions/
Please also read this information, especially point #7, which explains how online ordering and curbside pickup do not constitute reasonable or fair accomodation: https://standupwindsor.ca/seven-myths-of-mask-exemptions/
If you have not done so already, please create a policy mandate for all Home Hardware stores to regularly play a message over the stores’ PA systems stating that mask exemptions are respected in Home Hardware stores.
When you respond to me, by either phone or email, please acknowledge the above request, and please also confirm that Kimberly has been informed of the law, and of the risk she may be posing to staff if she encourages them to confront mask-exempt customers.
Thank you very much for your time,