Former 7-Eleven employee’s sex discrimination complaint dismissed by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal

A 7-Eleven store in Las Vegas. Photo: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal dismissed a complaint filed by SV, a former employee of 7-Eleven Canada Inc., who alleged sex discrimination in the workplace.

SV, who worked at a 7-Eleven store from 1996 until October 2019, initially filed the complaint on March 5, 2020, against her former coworker, the store leader, and 7-Eleven Canada Inc.

The complaint included allegations of inappropriate behavior by the store leader towards female employees, including verbal abuse and physical actions like grabbing. SV also claimed that 7-Eleven discriminated against her by transferring her to another store after she complained about the store leader’s conduct.

The Tribunal had previously dismissed the complaint against the store leader in June 2021, following SV’s withdrawal of the complaint against him. 7-Eleven denied any form of discrimination against SV, subsequently applying for the complaint’s dismissal under several sections of the Human Rights Code.

In its decision, the Tribunal focused on whether the information provided took the allegations beyond the realm of conjecture. It acknowledged the existence of conflicting accounts of the events but found that even accepting SV’s version of facts, there was no reasonable prospect of establishing a connection between her sex and the adverse impacts alleged in the complaint.

SV’s allegations spanned various incidents, including claims of verbal abuse directed at her and other female staff, and an assault where the store leader purportedly pulled another employee’s ponytail. She also highlighted her transfer to another store and the subsequent closure of the Registered Post Office (RPO) at her original store, which she managed.

On the other hand, 7-Eleven’s version of events denied the alleged conduct by the store leader and justified SV’s transfer as a business decision following the RPO’s closure.

In its ruling, the Tribunal found no sufficient evidence to suggest that the alleged poor treatment was specifically directed at female employees or that SV’s sex played a role in her transfer. As a result, the Tribunal concluded that there was no reasonable prospect the complaint would succeed at a hearing, leading to its dismissal.

For more information, see Vyas v. 7-Eleven Canada Inc., 2023 BCHRT 178 (CanLII)

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