Federal Court

Human Rights

Practice and procedure

Commissions, tribunals and boards of inquiry

Complainant’s allegation of personal harassment substantiated but not allegation of racial discrimination

Fairness. 40-year-old applicant was of Iranian descent and was long-term employee of respondent. Applicant made complaint to respondent that he was being harassed by supervisor, and respondent found supervisor engaged in hostile and unprofessional behaviour, and required him to attend leadership training. Applicant filed second complaint that supervisor ignored him, demeaned him, and made him feel incompetent. Respondent investigated and concluded applicant’s allegation of personal harassment was substantiated but there was no racial discrimination, facilitated apology and discussion, and ultimately terminated supervisor’s employment when his behaviour did not improve. Applicant made complaint to human rights commission that he was discriminated against based on race, ethnic origin and age, and that respondent treated him in adverse manner and failed to provide harassment-free workplace. Investigation was conducted and commission found further inquiry into complaint was not warranted. Applicant brought application for judicial review of decision dismissing his compliant. Application dismissed. There was no evidence on record supporting applicant’s allegation investigator was biased and prejudged issue, and applicant never raised contention of bias earlier, so could not do so now. Investigator refused to review audio recordings of conversations with witnesses, on basis there was no way to authenticate voices and context. This rationale was not reasonable, as applicant could have provided context and identified voices, and investigator could have spoken to identified individuals. Tapes were not obviously critical evidence, as they were very brief and applicant summarized them in his submissions. Investigator did not interview two witnesses identified by applicant because existence of harassment was not at issue, and applicant did not identify other evidence they could have provided. Applicant was able to make submissions and arguments to commission, and there was no unfairness and no investigative flaws so fundamental they could not be remedied by his submissions.

Majidigoruh v. Jazz Aviation LP (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 887, 2017 FC 295, Anne L. Mactavish J. (F.C.).

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