Sent to us by a reader:
I’m a member and receive the regular newsletters and have attended marches in London.
I thought it might be of interest to you of a recent experience of mine at the Apple Store in Birmingham. I was in Birmingham with a friend of mine doing a bit of Xmas shopping, and she had to go into the Apple Store. I thought nothing of it, we had been in several stores previously unchallenged regarding my mask exemption status, but this was about to change.
Upon entering the store I was immediately pounced upon and had a mask shoved towards me. I politely told them of my exemption but it was not accepted. “Have a visor then,” they said. Again, I stated my exemption. By this time it had created quite a stir in the shop and people were staring, which was embarrassing, but I stood my ground.
My friend, who is not mask exempt, wanted to avoid the fuss created, and she went about her business with her mask on, whilst I was forced to wait at the back of the store. I asked for the manager and told her that she was directly discriminating against me due to my disability mask status and in breach of the Equalities Act 2010. I informed her that this would not be the end of this embarrassing matter.
On the Sunday I contacted Apple and they quickly escalated it to their UK and Europe Head office in Cork. I asked if the manager was implementing a stand-alone policy or working to official Apple policy. I was told it was official Apple policy. “Surely, that is worse,” I said.
Apple as a company are totally disregarding official government guidelines and regulations. I told them of my intention to start Civil proceedings which I have done. I have provided pre litigation notice with a 14-day response time. If no settlement is reached I will be issuing the N1 court form and seeking damages for directly breaching the Equalities Act 2010 by treating me less favourably than they would treat others due to my medical exemption.
I am aware of new regulations brought in on November 30th but in my view they don’t provide any relief from the Equality Act 2010. As a member I thought that this may be of interest to you. There is no bigger corporate bully out there than Apple, and it would be nice to get one over on them and their illegal policy.
I am quite legal savvy and I will take this to Court unrepresented as I believe it is a straight forward case. Though it is my belief that they will settle out of Court. If anyone amongst your team has any legal advice it will be greatly appreciated.
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