Brown Jug executives called a community meeting with customers with the intention that they may enumerate instances in which they encountered racism, disrespect and abuse on the part of Brown Jug’s employees. Toliver circulated a petition seeking names and contact information of area customers who experienced such abuses. The executives heard complaints, and instructed all employees of Brown Jug to treat customers fairly and with respect. Toliver was to remain banned from Store 32.
Immediately after the meeting, Toliver went to Store 55 to purchase liquor, but was refused in a communications error by an employee who was filling in for other employees who were at the meeting. Two months after the June 2008 meeting, Toliver filed a complaint with the Commission of Human Rights alleging race discrimination by Brown Jug.
The Commission’s investigator spoke with Toliver, relaying Brown Jug’s response which characterized Toliver’s claims as meritless and unsupported, that Toliver threatened Store 32’s assistant manager. Toliver denied the threats and named the signees of the community meeting petition as witnesses, along with the manager of Store 55. The investigator spoke to Brown Jug executives, Store 32 employees, and Toliver only in preparation of her report, which dismissed Toliver’s allegations as unsupported. The Commission closed the case.
Toliver appealed the closing, but Superior Court upheld the Commission, citing lack of connection between the incident and the witnesses. Toliver appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of Alaska concluded that the Commission’s investigator spoke only with parties representing one side of the issue and the investigation could not be construed as impartial, remanded the issue back to the Commission to conduct an impartial investigation per statute. See: Toliver v. Alaska State Com'n for Human Rights, 279 P.3d 619 (Alaska 2012).
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Related legal case
Toliver v. Alaska State Com'n for Human Rights
|Cite||279 P.3d 619 (Alaska 2012)|
|Level||State Supreme Court|