Home Featured Carleton University worker’s discrimination claim dismissed after sexual harassment allegation

Carleton University worker’s discrimination claim dismissed after sexual harassment allegation

by HR Law Canada

A human rights claim filed by a former undergraduate recruitment assistant against Carleton University has been dismissed by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

The applicant, A.M., alleged the university discriminated against him on the basis of race, place of origin, ethnic origin, and gender identity. His allegations followed an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint lodged by a female student, which he claimed was a false report.

According to the application, after learning about the student’s complaint, M.A. confronted a roommate of the student in the university hallways. The applicant submits that, following this confrontation, he was “stormed” by two university campus security officers while working in his office.

The application explains that, following an investigation, the applicant was issued a “permanent trespass order” by the university. The application complains of a “lack of impartiality and potential biases” in the investigation and asserts that the investigation violated the applicant’s rights.

The Tribunal, however, found the link between his treatment and the alleged grounds of discrimination insufficiently substantiated. As stated in the decision, “The Application… does not provide any reason to believe that the university’s conduct was in any way influenced or affected by the applicant’s Code grounds.”

“A bald assertion that the adverse treatment the applicant received was owing to their enumerated ground is not enough to provide the required factual basis,” it said.

M.A. responded with a statement, noting “it is challenging to pinpoint racism yet one can feel its impacts and understand the motives. As a person born in Canada, I am sickened by the racism and sexism I have experienced.” He alleged the university had a “clear prejudiced approach that favoured the female student.”

The tribunal said it did not doubt the sincerity of his beliefs, but the claim could not proceed “solely on the back of the applicant’s beliefs and suspicions.”

For more information, see Ali Mohamad v. Carleton University, 2024 HRTO 843 (CanLII).

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