feel discriminated at store, what to do

2020-10-17 i OFFENTLIG RÄTT
I was in Ikea linköping today. Between 16.30 and 17.00 hours I got to the counter alongwith my wife and my 7yr old kid. Stood there for our turn to go into the selfpay area. So when we went in, this woman in an ikea uniform told me to step back out of the area. I tried to tell her that its one family while slowly stepping back and its just that my wife is paying for her things first but she wont listen. So after sometime I moved to another pay machine that just got available and paid for my things. I stood there waiting to see if they do the same to everyone else. This family walks into the area consisting of the same number of family members, a couple with a kid and areIm told nothing. I immediately stepped up and asked the workers if there is anything wrong with me that I was told to step out of the area and wait? After sometime this worker understood my situation and told me it was their floor manager who wanted me to step out and she has just ordered this routine for everyone like 10 minutes ago. So there were no signs that said anything about only 2 ppl allowed and even in that case we had a minor with us so we are to be considered 2 in a general sense and as it is everywhere else, Also you cant just come up with a rule while you want a specific person to step out without rolling a memo in a big company like ikea. I'm brown and I have absolutely no racial paranoia but this incident today made me very disappointed and hurt emotionally.


Thank you for turning to Lawline with your questions!

As I understand your situation, you feel mistreated and discriminated due to your skin-color, since an employee at IKEA had singled you out and asked you to step out of the line, despite that no one else had to.

It is hard for me to say anything about the grounds for IKEAs behaviour, whether they had orders from their floor manager or not, or why they did what they did. I can only speculate that the decision was made due to Covid-19 restrictions, and several IKEA stores have applied instructions regarding the maximum number of people in the self-pay area. Nevertheless, they are not allowed to act on discriminatory grounds.

You can start with sending a complaint to IKEA on their website, about your experience, and maybe you can receive some answer or compensation for the bad treatment by the employees. It is not okay to discriminate, directly nor indirectly, due to ethnicity or religion. Consequently, you can report to the Diskrimineringsombudmannen (DO) about the incident. They can decide wether or not to investigate futher and to take action against IKEA. You can read more about this on their website.

I am sorry that you had to experience this. I hope my answer has been of any help to you. Otherwise you are welcome to contact to us again if you wish further help or guidance.


Sara Pedersen
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