Earlier this week Co-Op Taxi general manager Doug McCarthy told the CBC that some of his drivers are not picking up young women outside downtown bars because they fear they will be falsely accused of inappropriate touching or assault. Now the cab company is facing a barrage of criticism from the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the St. John’s Status of Women Council, Coalition Against Violence-Avalon East and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre. The groups are saying that the comments and actions of the company are not only sexist, but against the Human Rights Act which says that individuals cannot be denied goods or services based on their gender. Yet McCarthy told the CBC of instances where young women are drunk and pass out after they get in cabs. He said he’s been told there have been cases where drivers tried to wake up the women who claim they can’t remember where they are going. In some instance, he said the young women threaten to make false accusations against the driver to avoid paying their fare. It appears that taxi drivers may be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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