Federal Court

Human Rights Legislation

Human Rights Commission/Tribunal
Investigator failed to conduct sufficiently thorough investigation

Employee filed complaint with Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging she was harassed and discriminated against in workplace by employer’s chief of staff on basis of her age, sex, and marital status. Investigator found alleged harassment had occurred based on inappropriate behavior by chief of staff. CHRC released investigation report recommending that Tribunal commence inquiry into complaint. Employer brought application for judicial review of decision of CHRC to request inquiry into complaint. Application granted. Investigator failed to conduct sufficiently thorough investigation, rendering it clearly deficient. Investigator failed to interview chief of staff or any other employees who were still working for employer, or interview individuals present at meeting involving employee and chief of staff at which it was alleged harassment took place. Investigator did not turn mind to question of whether harassment had been reported by employee to her supervisors, or whether employee’s anxiety and emotional distress resulted from alleged harassment, or if there were adverse consequences of unrelated issues. Matter was to be returned to investigator for redetermination.

Southern Chiefs Organization Inc. v. Dumas (July 20, 2016, F.C., Alan S. Diner J., T-1612-15) 268 A.C.W.S. (3d) 831.

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