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Age Discrimination In The Workplace

Age Discrimination in the Workplace

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Deane v. Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) awarded $7,000.00 to an employee as compensation for the injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect on account that she was discriminated against on the basis of age in employment.

The applicant had filed a complaint alleging discrimination in the workplace on account of her age on the following basis:

  1. The comments made to her by the Manager of the Program Development Section of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services pushed her into retirement;
  2. The competition that was set up to fill the position on a permanent basis instead of allowing her to continue to fill it on a secondment basis was discriminatory; and
  3. The interview process and the selection of the candidate was discriminatory.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that the applicant had been discriminated against on various occasions by the Manager of the Program Development Section as a result of comments made by him to encourage her to retire. The Manager made comments to the applicant such as outlining “the advantages of retirement, having her speak to retired colleagues on his office speakerphone and asking if she was certain that she wanted to submit her application” for the permanent position. Notwithstanding that the Manager did not intend to discriminate against the applicant, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal concluded that there was discrimination because the Code focuses on the effect of the behavior on the applicant not on the intention of the alleged offender.

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal did not find that the applicant had been discriminated against by virtue of the competition being set up, or the recruitment process or the hiring process. As such, the applicant was not entitled to the remedy of reinstatement or damages for lost wages or an adjustment to her pension.

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