Federal Appeal

Human Rights Legislation

No error in appreciation of relevance of settlement agreement to reasonableness of decision

Appeal by employee from dismissal of application for judicial review of decision of Canadian Human Rights Commission not to deal with complaint. Commission found that employee had entered into settlement agreement with former employer which included agreement to withdraw complaint. Commission also found no evidence to support allegation that employee signed agreement under duress, fear and anguish, noting that she was represented by counsel throughout negotiations. Appeal dismissed. Application judge identified appropriate standards of review as being correctness on questions of procedural fairness and reasonableness for substance of decision. Judge applied standards correctly. Employee incorrect that there was no information before commission to contradict assertions of duress, fear and anguish. Judge did not ignore those allegations or claim that commission investigator was biased. E-mail from investigator to employer fell far short of establishing bias. No palpable and overriding error in judge’s assessment of evidence. No error in appreciation of relevance of settlement agreement to reasonableness of commission’s decision. No principled basis for employee to argue that investigative report must be more thorough where complaint dismissed under s. 41 rather than under s. 44. Open to commission to find that complaint “trivial, frivolous, vexatious or in bad faith” as employee sought to litigate settled issue.

Exeter v. Canada (Attorney General)

(Apr. 20, 2012, F.C.A., Sharlow, Dawson and Stratas JJ.A., File No. A-84-11) Decision at 198 A.C.W.S. (3d) 793 was affirmed. 214 A.C.W.S. (3d) 532 (13 pp.).

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