Tribunal: Kruidvat discriminated against blind customer

Photo: Mauritsvink Wikimedia Commons

Pharmacy chain Kruidvat discriminated against a blind customer when staff refused to accompany her through the store, a tribunal has ruled.

The woman complained after staff members at the store in Vught said they were too busy to help her choose products from the shelves.

The staff offered to fetch the items on the customer’s shopping list and let her check the products at the counter by feeling them. But the human rights tribunal College voor de Rechten van de Mens said this breached the law that guarantees equal treatment for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

The panel said the store failed to comply with the customer’s wish to shop independently. The woman took the case to the tribunal after Kruidvat’s parent company, AS Watson, did not respond to a request to mediate the dispute through the anti-discrimination body RADAR.

Decisions by the human rights tribunal are not binding, but a spokesman said that around 75% to 80% of rulings were acted on. ‘Either an apology, compensation or sometimes a change in policy,’ said the spokesman.