A Sooke resident’s human rights was complaint partially upheld after she claimed discrimination on the grounds of mental disability. (File)

A Sooke resident’s human rights was complaint partially upheld after she claimed discrimination on the grounds of mental disability. (File)

Sooke woman claims she faced discrimination from employer after mental health diagnosis

Actions by Thrifty Foods management called into question by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

A Sooke woman who claims she faced discrimination as a result of a mental disability has taken her complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

According to a summary recently posted on the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal website, the Sooke resident says she was unfairly treated by her employer, Thrifty Foods.

Thrifty Foods denies the allegations.

The woman worked at Thrifty’s for six years before taking a medical leave of absence in June 2016 after a visit to her doctor resulted in a mental disability diagnosis, according to tribunal documents.

RELATED: Nanaimo CAO files complaint

The leave lasted 2½ months, but on her return to work she was demoted. Other actions by her employer, she said, gave her little choice but to resign her position in September 2016.

In her complaint to the tribunal, the employee alleged her treatment was linked to Thrifty Foods’ staff’s perception of her as a person with a mental disability.

The tribunal’s decision did not provide the Sooke resident with the condemnation of Thrifty Foods that she’d sought, but also stopped short of completely exonerating the company.

Although the decision did dismiss the charge against the company and a human resource staff member named in the action, their actions were criticized by tribunal member Pamela Murray.

“Unilaterally removing an employee’s duties on the day they return from a medical leave would usually need to be part of an agreed return-to-work plan or [be] reasonably necessary before it could be found to be non‐discriminatory. It is not, in any event, in my view part of ‘managing the employment relationship’ for an employer to remove job duties in the manner alleged in the materials,” Murray wrote.

Although the management style of the company was drawn into question by Murray’s comments, the charge of a human rights violation was not upheld against Thrifty Foods.

The same was not true for a supervisor named in the action.

He was characterized as the “directing mind” of the alleged discrimination and the tribunal held that the complaint against that supervisor could proceed to a future hearing to resolve the case.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is an independent, quasi-judicial body created by the B.C. Human Rights Code. It is responsible for accepting, mediating, and adjudicating human rights complaints and, although the Tribunal offers the parties to a complaint the opportunity to try to resolve the complaint through mediation, should that effort fail the complaint moves on to the hearing stage.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
School parking problems plague Oak Bay residents

Need exceeds official requirements for parking at St. Michaels school

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Wanted man Michael Bruce was arrested Wednesday in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP find wanted man hiding under mattress

Michael Bruce had multiple warrants out for his arrest in Sooke and the West Shore

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

Most Read