Man wins gender discrimination suit!

[ ED NOTE: Jesse Ferreras was kind enough to allow me to cross-post this article from his blog. You can read the original article here. This story also noted by Blazing Cat Fur. ]

Believe it or not – the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has handed down a ruling in favour of a male in a gender discrimination complaint.

In a stunning ruling, Marlene Tyshynski of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal awarded $12,000 to Ronald Morrison, who four years ago moved to Nelson, B.C. to help a father-in-law who contracted dementia. At the time he was 50 and unemployed, according to a CBC News story, and decided he wanted to become a full-time residential care aide.

He graduated from a care-aide program in Castlegar in 2007, the “only man in a class of seven.” He applied for a job at the extended care wing of the Mountain Lake Seniors Community, operated by a company called AdvoCare, he was turned down. He found work in another wing, but when AdvoCare took it over he lost his job. The only work he could find was 200 kilometres away – in Cranbrook, near the border with Alberta.

The woman who interviewed him felt uncomfortable with Morrison because he was “tall and muscular.” So really, that’s two more grounds of discrimination – height and weight. The interviewer later felt “harassed and intimdated” when he called her up to find out why he wasn’t hired, despite a number of job openings. The interviewer wouldn’t make clear why, saying it was confidential.

This case sounds to me like one of reverse psychology – the interviewer sounds more like the kind of person who might file a complaint of discrimination, and the tribunal more like a body that would rule in her favour, perhaps because his biceps and quads injured her dignity. Perhaps she didn’t hit the gym as often.

I’ve yet to read the decision itself but I certainly look forward to it. News stories don’t always capture all the nooks and crannies of human rights cases. I’ve yet to find out how long it took to deal with this complaint. Based on previous experience I’m going to guess about two years.

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