US & Canada

Women's 'wage gap' discount at local pub sparks backlash

Morrissey House in London, Ontario Image copyright Morrissey House
Image caption Morrissey House in London, Ontario is hosting a ladies' night with a social conscience

A Canadian pub that gives a discount to women to help remedy pay inequality is facing backlash from a patron who says the policy discriminates against men.

The Morrissey House in Ontario offers a 13% discount to women on Mondays, recognising that women earn 87 cents for every dollar men earn in Canada.

Owner Mark Serre said an irate customer has threatened to file a complaint with the provincial human rights commission.

The new promotion also raises money for local charities that benefit women.

Mr Serre said he has no problem with the customer complaining to the human rights commission, but he does not think the promotion is discriminatory.

"It's his right. If he feels wronged, then I applaud him for taking it to the (commission). But I think he's taking it the wrong way," Mr Serre told the CBC.

"As a general rule of life, women should get paid equally. I think that's important. Is it worth my 13 per cent on a Monday night? Absolutely. Is it worth a conversation? Absolutely. I hope people embrace it."

The Ontario Human Rights Commission investigates complaints that violate the province's human rights code, including complaints about discrimination against gender.

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Offering a regular discount to women on "ladies' nights" is a common practice at pubs and bars, and given the social conscience of Mr Serre's "Mind the Gap Mondays", he said he believes it will be supported by the commission.

In 2013, another London, Ontario, establishment faced a human rights complaint because it offered women a 50% discount on cover on its "ladies' night". The human rights tribunal ruled that while the practice may have been discriminatory, it did not qualify as "substantive discrimination".

"There are many things that could be said about societal beliefs in Ontario, but the notion than men are less worthy than women is not among them," the tribunal ruled.

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