Orchard Park Shopping Centre’s Apple Entrance. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

  • Sep. 20, 2020 12:00 a.m.

A woman at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre shared a video to social media claiming she was “harassed” by employees who, in keeping with company policy, wouldn’t let her into their store without wearing a mask.

In the video originally shared Thursday on Facebook, Susan Roth Drazdoff Faechner can be seen at the entrance of LUSH Cosmetics, arguing with a security guard and three employees who appear in the background.

“I am just browsing, you are harassing me,” Faechner says in the video. Employees can be heard calmly telling her that wearing masks in-store is company policy and reminding her of online shopping as an alternative option.

The video is no longer publicly available on Faechner’s Facebook page, but it surfaced again in a Tweet by Jill Cowie, who says her daughter was among the employees at the store during the encounter.

In the video, the security guard can be seen asking Faechner for a medical note after she tells him she can’t wear a mask due to a medical condition. Faechner declines, and goes on to argue the store is “public property to walk on.” The security guard informs her that that’s not the case, and reiterates the store’s policy for customers to wear a face-covering while inside.

A number of businesses and companies have put in place mandatory mask-wearing policies in response to COVID-19. In B.C., more than 7,800 cases and 223 deaths have accumulated since the start of the pandemic.

In an email regarding the incident, LUSH marketing communications manager Rebecca Peters said masks have been, and continue to be, mandatory in their stores since July 18.

“We support how our staff handled the situation calmly and compassionately and we remain committed to ensuring the policy is followed,” she said. “The health and safety of our staff and community remain top priority as we continue to navigate these challenging times together.”

READ MORE: 3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

READ MORE: Okanagan group calls for inclusive COVID-19 recovery plan

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