“Though it is legitimate not to hire someone because they lied, if the reason they lied was to avoid discriminatory treatment, the tribunal held, the lie is justified and the question illegal.”
Would Muhammad Haseeb be getting $120,000 if he weren’t Muslim? And yet Muslims in Canada will still continue to claim that they are victims of “Islamophobia” and discrimination, even as they solidify their status as a protected class that must be catered to in all circumstances.
“Ontario human rights tribunal orders Imperial Oil to pay $120,000 to worker it didn’t hire,” by Jon Pinkus, National Post, October 9, 2019:
A recent award from Ontario’s human rights tribunal should have employers carefully reviewing their HR policies and emailing their employment lawyers.
Muhammad Haseeb, a university graduate in engineering, has been awarded over $120,000 by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in a discrimination in employment application against Imperial Oil. What makes this case particularly interesting is that Haseeb never actually worked for Imperial Oil. The discrimination in question was the company’s reneging on a job offer.
The case involved a hiring policy requiring applicants to prove they were eligible to work in Canada on a permanent basis. Haseeb would have been eligible for a work permit for a job at Imperial Oil but he was neither a Canadian citizen nor permanent resident. In his application, he stated — falsely — that he was in fact eligible to work on a permanent basis. This led to a job offer. But when Imperial Oil asked for proof of citizenship or permanent residency, he could not provide it. As a result, Imperial Oil rescinded the offer.
Before the human rights tribunal the company argued that the offer was rescinded because of Haseeb’s dishonesty, not his lack of citizenship. The tribunal held that although Haseeb may have been dishonest, the discriminatory policy the company followed was enough to constitute a violation of Ontario’s Human Rights Code. What discriminatory policy is that, you may ask? The employer distinguished between candidates based on whether or not they were Canadian citizens. The tribunal ruled that this distinction was not a bona fide occupational requirement. Though it is legitimate not to hire someone because they lied, if the reason they lied was to avoid discriminatory treatment, the tribunal held, the lie is justified and the question illegal.
Under Ontario human rights law, successful applicants are put in the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory action. Haseeb successfully argued that he was entitled to be paid lost income for the four years — yes, four years — his case took to be heard and decided. On top of that, he was awarded $15,000 as compensation for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect….
Awards as high as Haseeb’s are still relatively rare. But employers in the province may need to recalibrate the financial risk they face for violating the Human Rights Code. One thing is clear: discrimination has become a very costly mistake in Ontario.