Home Featured Former social worker at Calgary Board of Education, who alleged age and mental disability discrimination, has complaint dismissed

Former social worker at Calgary Board of Education, who alleged age and mental disability discrimination, has complaint dismissed

by HR Law Canada

The Alberta Human Rights Commission has upheld the dismissal of a complaint filed by a former social worker for the Calgary Board of Education (CBE).

The worker, PV, alleged that the board discriminated against him based on physical and mental disability, and age, impacting his employment.

PV’s complaint stemmed from a complex situation where he was initially suspended with pay pending an investigation into a possible personal relationship with a fellow employee, who was also his counselling client. This suspension later transitioned to an unpaid medical leave after PV submitted medical information stating he could not attend meetings related to the investigation due to medical disabilities.

The complainant also claimed that the CBE threatened to suspend him and report the matter to his professional body unless he agreed to retire, ignored his doctor’s note regarding face-to-face meetings, refused to allow him to apply for disability benefits, and failed to pay out half of his accrued vacation days.

Employer’s response

The CBE, however, denied these allegations, stating it fulfilled its obligations to investigate the matter and made reasonable accommodations for PV.

The Board also clarified its policies on retirement offers, medical leaves, and the payout of vacation days, providing supporting documentation for its stance.

Complaint dismissed

After an initial review, the Director of the Commission had dismissed the complaint as without merit, a decision PV sought to review. Upon re-examination, the Commission reiterated the Director’s decision, citing a lack of evidence to support claims of discrimination based on disability or age.

The Commission found that the CBE had reasonably accommodated PV’s requests and that the changes in his employment status were not discriminatory but a result of the circumstances and medical recommendations.

The decision also noted that while the complainant had faced adverse changes in his employment conditions, these were not attributed to discriminatory practices by the CBE. The Commission emphasized its role in assessing the merit of such complaints and concluded that there was no reasonable basis for a hearing in this matter.

For more information, see Vettraino v Calgary Board of Education, 2023 AHRC 117 (CanLII)

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