BC Human Rights Tribunal declines to reconsider decision in favour of estheticians who refused to wax male genitalia

VANCOUVER:  The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that the BC Human Rights Tribunal has declined to reconsider its October 22 ruling in favour of the right of home estheticians to refuse to handle male genitalia against their will. The Complainant, Jessica Yaniv, had sought reconsideration from the Tribunal on the grounds of contended factual errors, unfairness and alleged bias.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms represented five estheticians from diverse ethnic backgrounds who operated home-based business in the Vancouver area providing services to women, including “Brazilians”, which is the waxing of the female groin area. The hearings for three of these women took place in July of 2019.

The complainant Jessica Yaniv identifies as a woman but possesses male genitalia. Yaniv approached the Justice Centre’s clients and requested, among other waxing services, Brazilian waxing to remove pubic hair from the groin area. When the estheticians refused to provide the services requested due to a lack of personal comfort, safety concerns, a lack of training, and/or religious objections, Yaniv filed complaints against them alleging discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. In total, Yaniv filed 15 complaints against various estheticians in the Vancouver area seeking as much as $15,000 in damages against the various estheticians.

In its October 22 ruling, the Tribunal noted that “human rights legislation does not require a service provider to wax a type of genitals they are not trained for and have not consented to wax.”

The Tribunal also found that the complainant Jessica Yaniv had “engaged in improper conduct” and had filed complaints “for an improper purpose”, awarding costs against Yaniv in the amount of $2000 payable to each of the Justice Centre clients Sandeep Benipal, Marcia daSilva, and Sukhi Hehar Gill.

In today’s Decision denying Yaniv’s application for reconsideration of the October 22 ruling, the Tribunal stated that Yaniv “has not shown why considerations of fairness or justice, viewed objectively, require the Final Decision to be re-opened and reconsidered.”

“Our clients simply want this matter concluded,” stated Jay Cameron, the Justice Centre’s Litigation Director and counsel for the estheticians. “They are pleased to learn that the Tribunal will not disturb its ruling.”