Case studies: Gender

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A female sales clerk complained that a male supervisor sexually harassed her verbally by making comments about parts of her body and by suggesting they could "have a lot of fun in bed." She also claimed to have been grabbed from behind. The complainant said she appealed to the company management, but no effective action was taken. The company not only denied the sexual harassment allegations, but also said the woman had not complained. Through conciliation, the parties agreed to resolve the matter. The company offered damages to the woman, which she accepted.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage
A woman filed a complaint against her employer, alleging discrimination based on gender/sexual harassment. The woman alleged that her employer would make sexual comments towards her and other female staff. The complainant claimed she repeatedly asked the manager to stop making sexual advances towards her. A short time later, the complainant was dismissed from her duties. She believed it was because of her refusal to engage in sexual activity with her employer. Conciliation was unsuccessful, and the file was forwarded for investigation. The respondent offered to settle the matter. The complainant accepted the financial package offered by the respondent as a remedy.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

An administrative assistant, employed by an educational institution, complained she was sexually harassed by her supervisor. She alleged the male supervisor commented that attractive women helped promote the program, indicated which colours looked good on her, and rubbed her shoulder on one occasion. She claimed she was terminated without cause after she complained to the personnel department. The employer disputed her allegations, claiming her termination was based upon performance concerns. This complaint was resolved through conciliation. The employer offered to re-employ the woman with terms she found satisfactory. The employee accepted the offer.

Area: Employment
Ground:Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily though conciliation

A woman complained that she was sexually harassed by a co-worker. She alleged that the male co-worker constantly made comments of a sexual nature towards her, and he forcefully attempted to kiss her. She stated that she reported the matter to the manager, but nothing was done to remedy the situation. She said that the manager told her that such behaviour was "normal" in the organization and that he could not do anything to correct the situation. The Commission settled the complaint through conciliation, and the complainant received a compensation package.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Discontinued

A woman, who worked as a waitress in a hotel lounge, filed a complaint alleging her employer discriminated against her on the grounds of gender/sexual harassment. She alleged her employment was terminated because she refused to serve a customer who was making inappropriate comments. The investigation found merit. However, the complainant was not willing to accept the recommended remedy, and her complaint was discontinued.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage
A man stated he was hired by a woman whom he had known for some time as a casual friend. He stated that once he went to work for her, she began to sexually harass him. He alleged that the woman kissed him against his wishes and discussed her sexual interests with him. He claimed that when he refused her advances, his supervisor began to find fault with his work and then terminated his position. Investigation found that while sexual harassment had occurred, the complainant's termination was based on poor performance. The man was awarded damages for the sexual harassment.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/sexual harassment
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage
A woman alleged that her boss sexually harassed her and that her termination from her job was related to the sexual harassment. The respondent did not participate in the investigation. A former manager provided partial corroboration of the complainant's allegations. Based on the evidence, the complaint was found to have partial merit. The complainant was subjected to sexual harassment, but her termination was not related to the harassment. It was recommended that the respondent pay the complainant $1200 as compensation for injury to her self-respect. The respondent and complainant agreed to settle the complaint for the recommended amount, and the file was closed.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/pregnancy
Result: Dismissed at the investigation stage
A woman applied for an advertised position at an industrial machinery rental company. Although she was not successful in getting the advertised job, the company did offer her a permanent position as a sales coordinator. Shortly after she informed her employer of her pregnancy, the complainant was terminated. The investigation into the complaint found no evidence that the dismissal was connected to her pregnancy.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/pregnancy
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A woman alleged that she was treated unfairly in employment on the grounds of family status and gender (pregnancy). She claimed that her employer had not accommodated her after the birth of her child, as her child had experienced health problems and consequently the complainant's maternity leave had been extended more than once. When she was ready to return to work, the manager had changed, and the complainant no longer had her old position. The employer did offer her a night position, but the complainant did not consider this appropriate.

Conciliation was held. As a result, the complainant was given a letter of apology, and a ban forbidding her and her children from visiting the place of employment was lifted. The complainant was not interested in returning to work for this employer. The respondent also attended an education session on human rights issues. The complainant agreed to this settlement, and the file was closed.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender/pregnancy
Result: Dismissed at the investigationstage
A woman applied for an advertised position at an industrial machinery rental company. Although she was not successful in getting the advertised job, the company did offer her a permanent position as a sales coordinator. Shortly after informing her employer of her pregnancy, the complainant was terminated. The investigation into the complaint found no evidence that the dismissal was connected to her pregnancy.

Area: Equal pay
Ground: Gender
Result: Dismissed at the investigation stage

A female journeyman electrician with more than five years experience was hired to work for a small industrial company. She was transferred out to a field location where she worked until she was laid off. The complainant discovered that male journeymen with the same experience as she had were paid one dollar an hour more than she was making. The respondent claimed there was a difference in pay for field work and work in the shop. The investigation into the complaint did not find merit.

Area: Services
Grounds: Gender, ancestry and race
Result: Discontinued at the investigation stage

A woman filed a complaint alleging discrimination in the area of services, on the grounds of gender, ancestry and race. She claimed that, while she was enrolled in a course at a post-secondary institution, she was subjected to remarks of a derogatory nature about her culture, and because of these and other incidents, failed her course. The investigation found merit. The complainant did not settle for the recommended remedy, and her file was discontinued.

Area: Employment
Ground: Gender, race and colour
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage

A Caucasian-Canadian factory worker complained that management discriminated against her because of her race, colour and gender. The worker alleged she was treated differently than her Asian-Canadian male co-workers, and when opportunities for further training arose in her area of specialty, management ignored her and sent Asian-Canadian males instead. She left her employment as a result of this treatment. The employer denied the allegations, but an investigation showed her complaint had merit. The employer provided a financial settlement.

For more information on gender discrimination please see information sheets on: Pregnancy and maternity leave, Sexual harassment, and Equal pay for similar work.

Reviewed: March 23, 2010

 


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