The Lynch List, 17-Feb-2010

Here’s the latest Lynch list:

First, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has awarded over $30,000 (yes, that’s five figures) to a woman for enduring some racist language and being fired for bad work habits.

In his decision, tribunal adjudicator Eric Whist accepted Khan’s testimony, slamming her former employer, Lynn Tompkins of Lynx Trucking Transportation in Rexdale with a $25,000 fine along with an order that he create an anti-harassment policy and undergo training himself.

…The ruling, said Khan’s lawyer, Bruce Best, sends a powerful message.

“Employees don’t have to put up with this behaviour,” said Best, of the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. “You have rights and if you stand up for them, people will be forced to change.”

…[Khan said,] “To think that Canada is so multicultural and yet there are still people who say these words, and behave this way …”

…Released last Thursday, Khan said the ruling has taught her children the simple concept of right from wrong.

“They know now that if somebody ever calls them that name, they should defend themselves. If I didn’t fight for this, they would have thought it was okay.”

Also noted by LG&F.

Second, a battle is brewing in the wake of Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings, in which disabled employees are considering launching a human rights complaint after the bankruptcy judge cut their benefits.

Third, Stephen Hammond comments on how far-reaching human rights law has become, in the context of the Osoyoos strata council case.

Parting Shot: This is what “womens’ studies” is all about – a whole lot of complaining and a few Human Rights complaints on the basis of identity politics.

When the first appointments to the CRC Program were announced to senior members of the research community, I started counting those Chairs given to women, to men, and those that might be either. I did a rudimentary gender analysis, which the CRC secretariat under Marc Renaud later confirmed: my gender analysis revealed that only 14% of the early Chairs had gone to women…

In 2003, with the legal advice of Rosemary Morgan at the Canadian Association of University Teachers, a team of eight women from across Canada,  laid a formal Complaint, alleging discrimination before the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Cohen et. al. v. Industry Canada was settled in 2006 by a negotiated agreement.  Yet data still show that women, who are a third of full-time faculty in Canada, continue to be under-represented in CRC appointments.

Because research chair appointments (an any other prestigious position), after all, should be awarded on the basis of identity first. Less relevant issues such as competence should only be considered after the equity gods have been satisfied…


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