Restaurant presses on despite lawsuit over mask policy

A walk-up takeaway window is seen at Thai Palace Restaurant in Windsor. Photo courtesy Thai Palace Restaurant/Facebook.

A popular east Windsor restaurant has not allowed a pending lawsuit to affect its business.

The owners of Thai Palace Restaurant on Lauzon Road at Little River Road were served earlier this week with notice of a lawsuit. The suit was filed by a man who claimed he was discriminated against because he refused to wear a mask while picking up an order at the restaurant’s takeout window on October 7.

The suit accuses the restaurant of violating the customer’s rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code and directs the restaurant to submit pertinent surveillance camera footage, telephone records, and the names and contact information of employees.

According to the letter, which was posted online and signed by lawyer Antoine Jean D’Ailly, Thai Palace was offered a settlement for $20,000. The letter went on to say that if a response was not received by close of business Friday, the case would go forward.

As you hear our story on the radio or the news.Here is the letter from the gentleman who is the lawyer Sent to us…

Posted by Thai Palace Restaurant on Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The eatery’s owners said late Wednesday night that they are overwhelmed by the support of customers, but the main concern is the protection and safety of everyone involved in the business and they will not give in.

“We respect one’s opinions and beliefs but we firmly believe in preserving the safety of our staff, family as well as other customers, especially during this pandemic,” read the post on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We are not just abiding with the measures placed by our government but this is also our own way to help our community combat COVID-19. Again, we are very thankful and happy to see that most of you, our lovely customers stand with us!”

While there is no legislation in place in Ontario requiring people to wear face coverings in public places, private businesses do have the right to set their own policy. The Ontario Ministry of Health said if a person objects to wearing a mask solely on medical grounds, the person is not required to give that reason. However, the ministry’s official website does not offer provisions for religious or other forms of objection.