VANCOUVER: The latest human rights complaints filed by serial complainant Jessica Yaniv against beauty salons for refusing to wax Yaniv’s male genitalia and legs have been deferred for six months by the BC Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”).
The Tribunal has deferred Yaniv’s new complaints because of Yaniv’s failure to pay $6,000 in costs to three salons Yaniv unsuccessfully accused of discrimination in previous complaints that were filed in 2018, and that were heard and ultimately dismissed in 2019. The successful respondents had all refused to provide Yaniv with a “Brazilian” bikini wax. The women in the former and current cases are represented by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.jccf.ca).
One of the Justice Centre’s newest clients in the male genitalia waxing cases is Vancouver salon Top Touch, run by women of immigrant background. Yaniv approached the salon by phone on August 1, 2019. This was only five days after the last of three trials of prior complaints had been concluded in July of 2019. Top Touch refused to book Brazilian and leg waxing services for Yaniv, and told Yaniv they were going to call the police if they kept receiving phone calls.
In addition to representing Top Touch, the Justice Centre also represents Vancouver esthetic salon She Point Beauty Studio. She Point Beauty Studio is operated by East Indian women who adhere to the Sikh religion. Yaniv approached She Point Beauty in August 2019 and first requested a Brazilian bikini wax. The studio refused, stating that their services are only for women. Yaniv then requested leg waxing services. Leg waxing takes place in private, with the customer in their underwear or nude from the waist down.
Like Top Touch, She Point Beauty Studio rejected Yaniv’s request for services due to religious, cultural and safety reasons, and because the salon services are specialized to women only. Yaniv filed the complaint against She Point Beauty Studio in early October 2019.
On October 22, 2019, the Human Rights Tribunal dismissed three previous complaints by Yaniv, noting 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 Yaniv had “engaged in improper conduct” and had filed complaints “for an improper purpose”.
The decision further found that the Yaniv’s testimony was “disingenuous and self-serving.” Finally, noted the Tribunal, Yaniv was “evasive and argumentative and contradicted herself” while giving evidence, misled the Tribunal with regards to a publication ban, was untruthful in her complaint, engaged in extortionate behavior towards the women, and made slanderous and malicious attacks on the legal counsel acting for the women.
The Tribunal ordered Yaniv to pay costs of $2,000 to each the three individual estheticians, for a total of $6,000. As of this date, Yaniv has refused to pay these costs.
As a result, the Tribunal has deferred the complaints against Top Touch Salon and She Point Beauty Studio until the costs award is paid, or for at least six months. This means Yaniv is prohibited from pursuing any complaints during this period. If the costs award has not been paid after six months, Paul Singh, the Tribunal Member assigned to the case, states that next steps could include a further deferral, or a dismissal of the complaints.
The Tribunal found that Yaniv has a “grievance” against certain ethnic groups and targeted them out of racial animus to “punish” them for their cultural and religious views. Yaniv has made derogatory public comments about East Indians and Sikhs, as well as immigrants generally.
In one such comment cited by the Tribunal, Yaniv stated:
We have a lot of immigrants here who gawk and judge and aren’t exactly the cleanest people. They’re also verbally and physically abusive, that’s one main reason why I joined a girls gym, cause I DON’T want issues with these people, nor do I want anything to do with them in anyway, shape or form. They lie about shit, they’ll do anything to support their own kind and make things miserable for everyone else.
In total, Yaniv has now filed more than 16 complaints against Vancouver-area estheticians, in some cases demanding up to $15,000 from each service provider, and causing some of these women to shut down their small businesses.