A transgender woman who was born male has filed a complaint against a Canadian beauty waxing spa after a female Muslim employee declined service over religious reasons.
The complaint was brought before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against Mad Wax of Windsor in response to a female Muslim employee who was opposed to touching a biologically male body.
Carruthers, president and CEO of Mad Wax Windsor Camp Inc., released a statement last week, confirming he had received the complaint and that he respects the religious beliefs of his employees.
"All clients regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation are welcome," stated Carruthers, as quoted by CTV News.
"However, we also welcome staff members and respect their religious beliefs and feelings of safety and dignity in regards to the right not to perform waxing services on males or male genitals."
Ray Colautti, attorney for Carruthers, echoed the CEO's comments about the need to respect the beliefs of the staff and that no one else was available to perform the waxing.
"[Mad Wax] respects its own staff and religious beliefs and feelings of safety and dignity in regards to the right in not performing waxing services that they don't feel comfortable providing," stated Colautti, as quoted by iheartradio.ca.
According to the complaint, the transgender individual, who has remained anonymous, contacted Mad Wax in March for an appointment.
However, the professional hair removal company declined service, noting that the staffer who does male hair removal was on sick leave while the only other staffer who did body waxes was a Muslim woman who refused physical contact with any males she was not related to.
The unnamed transgender woman is suing the company for $50,000 as compensation for what the complaint identified as "immense harm to her dignity."
In recent years, many western countries have found themselves with increased litigation centered on whether businesses can refuse to perform certain services over sincerely-held religious beliefs.
News of the complaint against Mad Wax and its Muslim employee come as many in the United States await a decision from the Supreme Court over whether it was lawful for a Colorado-based cake shop to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.
The case is known as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and oral arguments were held last December. The pending decision is expected to influence several other cases across the U.S.