Federal Court

Human Rights Legislation

Judicial review
Employer followed law on employment equity

Employee was able-bodied white man who worked for employer until he was deemed unfit to work. Employee claimed that employer discriminated against him because he did not fall within one of designated groups for employment equity under employer’s reverse discrimination policy. Employee filed complaint with Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging discrimination on basis of gender, ethnicity and skin colour. Commission rejected claim on basis that allegations of race, colour and sex were not supported. Commission recommended that complaint be dismissed. Employee applied for judicial review. Application dismissed. Portions of employee’s affidavit were argumentative and were struck out. New evidence presented by employee did not meet test for admission on judicial review. Applicable standard of review was reasonableness. Commission considered arguments of parties and properly weighed evidence before it in its screening role. Employment equity criteria could be used in proper cases in work force adjustment situations and employer used Employment Equity Act (Can.) to govern its employment equity policies. Evidence as whole supported commission’s finding that claim of discrimination was not made out by employee where employer followed law on employment equity. Employment equity criteria might not determine outcome of job posting, as employer could hire non-designated employee or seek exception to employment equity. Commission addressed issues of over-representation and failing to verify self-identification and came to reasonable conclusions. Commission’s decision fell within range of possible, acceptable outcomes defensible in respect of facts and law and was reasonable.

Bate v. Canada Revenue Agency (Jan. 25, 2016, F.C., John A. O’Keefe J., T-71-15) 263 A.C.W.S. (3d) 170.

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