Shopkeeper’s prerogative and “No Mask, No Service” policies - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Ontario

Shopkeeper’s prerogative and “No Mask, No Service” policies

January 7, 2021

RCC has been made aware of a number of retailers who have either been threatened with a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) complaint, or had an HRTO complaint filed against them for “No Mask, No Service” policies. We are actively advocating for more front facing assurances that businesses who decide to turn away all unmasked customers will not be fined by the HRTO. Conversations continue with the Ontario government, as well as with the HRTO directly.

As we seek a public attestation of this, RCC wanted to take a moment to remind members of shopkeeper’ prerogative. In light of the health imperative that retailers are facing, it is our understanding that retailers are allowed to turn away unmasked patrons in a scenario where there is a “No Mask, No Service” policy in place. So long as the policy is consistently enforced (e.g. a selectively enforced policy, where some unmasked patrons are allowed to enter, could cause HRTO issues), RCC’s understanding is that retailers are allowed to deny entry to unmasked customers.

For more information, email Sebastian Prins at