Settlements

Many human rights complaints are resolved through mediation to the satisfaction of both parties. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has a high success rate of resolving complaints in this way. The following pages are examples of real settlements. In some cases, especially where the settlement has resulted in providing greater access to services or removing barriers, the parties have agreed to have their names identified.

Please remember that every case is different and the examples described are to provide you with a general overview only of the types of settlements that are frequently negotiated.

Mediation is offered by the Commission at various stages in the complaint process. The focus of the mediation and the details exchanged will often depend on the stage of the complaint in the Commission's process.

For more information on Mediation at the Commission, see the Guide to Pre-Complaint Mediation, Guide to Pre-Investigation Mediation, Guide to a Reasonable Offer, Guide to Board-directed Mediation and Guide to Remedies.

The Commission has carriage of the complaint if it is referred to an adjudication hearing so the Commission's legal counsel generally prepares the case for the hearing. At this time, the legal counsel may initiate settlement discussions between the parties. This is called pre-adjudication settlement. Many complaints are resolved at this stage in the proceedings.

Discrimination based on Protected Characteristics

Ancestry, Nationality or national origin, Ethnic background or origin
Service
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - ANCESTRY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him on the basis of his ancestry, including his colour.

The complainant alleged that he was browsing through various items on display at the respondent's store. He alleged that some of the store staff were viewing him with suspicion and being disrespectful to him and that because of this he ignored their enquiries about assisting him. He alleged that when he was confronted about his behaviour by store security he responded by asking security if they were profiling him. Security reacted by calling the police who arrested him and told him he was barred from the store indefinitely.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would provide the complainant with a letter of apology in respect of his experience while shopping at the store;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS – NATIONAL ORIGIN

(Pre-Adjudication Settlement)

The Association of Foreign Medical Graduates in Manitoba Inc. v. Manitoba Health, the University of Manitoba and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba

SUMMARY

The complainant, the Association of Foreign Medical Graduates in Manitoba Inc., filed a complaint of discrimination under sections 13 and 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging the respondents’ medical licensing process systemically discriminates against international medical graduates (“IMGs”) seeking to become licensed to practice medicine in Manitoba on the basis of their ancestry and national or ethnic origin.

The complainant alleged that the respondents' policies and practices resulted in IMGs being significantly less likely to obtain a residency position than either internationally trained doctors from Western European countries or Canadian graduates.  The complainant also alleged that too few positions are set aside for IMGs.  Further, more onerous requirements are imposed on IMGs who are not from certain designated countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom for the purposes of obtaining conditional registration to provide medical services in Manitoba. The respondents argued that country of education is not synonymous with country of origin and that granting conditional licensing to IMGs from non-designated countries was reasonably necessary to ensure the safe and competent practice of medicine in Manitoba.  The respondents also argued that the selection of candidates for residency training positions for IMGs is based on merit and funding restrictions.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code. Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:  The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The first round of Canadian Resident Matching Service was opened up to all medical graduates, including IMGs;
  • The designation of certain countries for the purposes of determining the criteria for conditional registration was discontinued;
  • The Medical Licensure Program for IMGs in Manitoba was implemented at the University of Manitoba to assist foreign trained doctors to be eligible for up to one year of postgraduate medical education.
Employment
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS – NATIONAL ORIGIN AND ANCESTRY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him in his employment on the basis of his national origin and ancestry, including his colour.

The complainant is an immigrant and worked for the respondent for seven years. He alleged that his daily work activities and washroom breaks were more closely monitored than those of his co-workers. He alleged that he was threatened that if he did not shorten his washroom breaks he would be fired and that the threat was made in a manner that referred negatively to the complainants colour. He alleged that he advised the respondent that he felt he was being harassed and needed help, at which point his employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant for four weeks of lost wages;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS – NATIONAL ORIGIN

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him in his employment on the basis of his national origin.

The complainant immigrated to Canada at a young age. He worked for the respondent on a seasonal basis for just over one year. He went on medical leave as a result of sustaining an injury and alleged that upon returning to work the respondent queried whether his injury was genuine despite the complainant having produced a certificate from his doctor. He alleged that the respondent also made disparaging remarks about immigrants. The complainant alleged that the respondent's conduct left him feeling humiliated and as a result he could no longer continue working for the respondent.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant for two weeks of lost wages;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
Religion or creed, or religious belief, religious association or religious activity
Employment

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS – RELIGION)

(Board Directed Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against her in her employment on the basis of her religion.

The complainant worked for the respondent, a small business, for less than one month. She alleged that the respondent was aware of her religious beliefs as she wore clothing in accordance with her religious beliefs, when she was hired. She alleged that the respondent terminated her employment on the basis that some of the respondent’s clients were unhappy with the fact that a person of her faith was working at the respondent.

The respondent denied discriminating against the complainant on the basis of her religion and argued that her employment was terminated because clients were dissatisfied with her service which led to a decrease in business.

The complaint was investigated and the Board of determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the alleged contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code. The negotiations were successful and the parties reached a settlement.

Settlement:  The settlement included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1450 in respect of injury to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
Age
Employment

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - AGE

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against her in her employment on the basis of her age.

The complainant worked for the respondent for less than one day. She alleged that shortly after commencing work she was informed that the respondent had an issue with her age and her employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $200 in respect of injury to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
Sex, including pregnancy, and gender identity, Gender-determined characteristics
Service

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEX - PREGNANCY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint of discrimination under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her sex including her pregnancy.

The complainant breastfed her child in the respondent’s facility. She alleged that an employee of the respondent told her that she was offending people at the facility by breastfeeding in public and that the complainant should cover up more.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1,000 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The respondent acknowledged the importance of ensuring that its employees are aware of and support the right of women to breastfeed in public;
  • The respondent agreed to post the Manitoba Human Rights Commission's fact sheet entitled "Breastfeeding and The Human Rights Code" in its various facilities and staff rooms and would also make this information part of its employee orientation and training material.
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
Employment
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEX - PREGNANCY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her sex including her pregnancy.

The complainant worked for the respondent, a medium sized company, for about seven months. She alleged that when she told the owner of the company that she was pregnant she was demoted. She alleged that the owner and her co-workers made fun of her pregnancy and that when she gave the owner a note from her doctor limiting her physical activities, the owner told her to leave. She believes the owner could have accommodated her but that he refused to discuss this.  The respondent argued that she was moved to another position to protect her from certain substances which could have endangered her pregnancy.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent provided the complainant with a letter of reference, in exchange for which she withdrew her complaint.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEX - PREGNANCY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against her in her employment on the basis of her sex.

The complainant worked for the respondent company for about two and a half months. She alleged that the respondent terminated her employment citing a shortage of work and on the basis that she was the most junior employee. She alleged that when she indicated to the respondent that a male co-worker was more junior than her, the respondent told her that they could not lay off a male employee.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1200 in respect of injury to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 3

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEX - PREGNANCY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 19 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the sexual harassment she was subjected to during her employment.

The complainant worked for a restaurant for about three years. She alleged that one of the owners of the company would constantly make sexist jokes and innuendos and touch her inappropriately. She alleged that she reported this to the other owner who spoke to the alleged harasser but the behaviour continued to the point that the complainant felt she had no choice but to quit.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1000 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release
- Example 4

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEX - PREGNANCY

(Pre-Complaint Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant alleged that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the harassment she was subjected to during her employment contrary to section 19 of The Human Rights Code.

The complainant worked for a restaurant.  She alleged that one of the supervisors would make sexually explicit comments towards other female employees in her presence.  She alleged that she reported this behaviour and shortly afterwards her employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to a formal complaint being filed a Commission mediator contacted the respondent to share the Complainant's allegations. The parties entered into shuttle mediation. The respondent conducted its own investigation into the alleged comments which resulted in the Supervisor apologizing to the targets of his comments. The respondent also had a meeting with all employees to review their harassment policy and agreed to display a poster in the workplace indicating if anyone had concerns with the work environment that they were free to contact management. The complainant felt that the respondent took appropriate steps to address her concerns and accepted the information provided indicating that her termination was for an unrelated reason. As such she did not pursue the complaint further.

Sexual orientation
Employment

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SEXUAL ORIENTATION

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him in his employment on the basis of his sexual orientation.

The complainant worked for the respondent for about five months. He alleged that a supervisor had expressed discomfort about working with a person who is gay. He alleged that despite being praised for his job performance, he was suspended from work on the basis of his attitude as well as customer complaints against him. His employment was later terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant for two weeks of lost wages;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release and Termination of Proceedings.
Marital or family status
Employment

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - MARITAL STATUS

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against her in her employment on the basis of her marital status.

The complainant worked at the respondent for less than one year and went on leave due to an injury sustained at work. Her spouse also worked for the respondent. Her spouse was accused of theft and his employment was terminated. The complainant alleged that when she advised the respondent that she was able to return to work the respondent told her that due to the incident with her spouse, her employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $500 in respect of injury to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
Housing

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SOURCE OF INCOME AND FAMILY STATUS - SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 16 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent systemically discriminates against individuals on the basis of their source of income and family status.

The complainant works for an organization that assists individuals in obtaining rental accommodation many of whom have children and/or receive social assistance. The complainant alleged that the respondent's rental advertisement indicated that individuals with children or persons receiving social assistance would not be eligible to rent from the respondent.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would provide the complainant with a letter of apology;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Termination of Proceedings.
Source of income
Housing

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - SOURCE OF INCOME AND FAMILY STATUS - SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 16 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent systemically discriminates against individuals on the basis of their source of income and family status.

The complainant works for an organization that assists individuals in obtaining rental accommodation many of whom have children and/or receive social assistance. The complainant alleged that the respondent's rental advertisement indicated that individuals with children or persons receiving social assistance would not be eligible to rent from the respondent.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would provide the complainant with a letter of apology;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Termination of Proceedings.
Physical or mental disability
Service
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY - SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Adjudication Mediation)

Alzheimer Society of Manitoba v. City of Winnipeg, Transit Department

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint of discrimination under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent’s eligibility criteria used to determine access to Handi-Transit services excludes, and thereby systemically discriminates against persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.

The complainant alleged that the respondent's eligibility criteria excluded individuals who cannot safely use the regular, fixed-route transit system because they have ADRD. The complainant alleged that an assessment mechanism should be put in place to ensure all individuals needing Handi Transit services, regardless of the nature of their disability or impairment, have access to the service. The respondent argued that individuals with ADRD who have a physical or sensory disability which results in a mobility impairment which meets the eligibility criteria, do qualify Handi-Transit services. The respondent also argued that some individuals with ADRD could use the regular, fixed-route transit system when accompanied by an attendant.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code. Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:   The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The parties would work together to fine-tune an assessment tool to determine the ability of a person with ADRD to use the regular, fixed-route transit system, with or without an attendant;
  • The respondent would make all reasonable efforts to ensure those changes were approved by the appropriate levels of authority within certain timelines;
  • The respondents would publicly announce the policy change by way of the internet and audio messaging and would provide training to drivers to help them understand the needs of people with ADRD.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint of discrimination under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her child's special needs based on his physical and mental disabilities.

The complainant's son has various disabilities.  He attends school.  The complainant wanted to acquire a service dog to assist her son generally and wanted the dog to accompany him to school.  The complainant located a dog in the United States that had been trained as a service dog to international standards.  The respondent school refused to allow the son to bring the dog to school on the basis that it had not been trained to Canadian standards.  Because the complainant did not want to jeopardize the training and bonding between the dog and her child, she decided that her child would be homeschooled until the matter was resolved.

Settlement:   Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent provided the complainant with a letter of apology;
  • The respondent undertook to adopt a service-dog reasonable accommodation policy within six months;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 3

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY - SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Adjudication Settlement)

SUMMARY

The complainants filed two separate complaints of discrimination against the City of Winnipeg under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent's method for providing audible signal information and button activated controls for pedestrian crossings is not the equivalent of visual signal information and thereby systemically discriminates against persons with visual impairments and other disabilities.

One complainant alleged that because audible pedestrian signals are activated by a pushbutton, individuals with upper body limitations or who are visually impaired may have difficulty activating the signals, and therefore automated audible signals should be implemented.  The other complainant alleged that the respondent's push button activated pedestrian controls impair the ability of some individuals with disabilities from independently crossing the road.  The respondent argued that push buttons are a standard means for activating a pedestrian right of way and are the only devices that operate reliably in all the weather conditions experienced in Winnipeg.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the alleged contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.  Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:   The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent will install audible signals at all controlled intersections that have visual signals, over a set time period and will ensure that all intersections that have automated visual signals, also have automated audible signals;
  • The respondent will remove pushbuttons from most of the downtown area and at many locations in the rest of Winnipeg;
  • The respondent will test alternate methods of activating signals that are accessible.  If a feasible alternative to pushbuttons is found it will be implemented;
  • A consultation committee comprised of representatives from the community, the Commission and the respondent will meet annually to discuss progress on the settlement and a report will be made to the public each year.
Employment
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Board Directed Mediation)

SUMMARY

The Complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him on the basis of his physical disability and/or failed to reasonably accommodate his disability.

The complainant applied for a position with the respondent and passed several tests and interviews. His application was ultimately rejected by the respondent on the basis that he did not meet the required hearing standard for the position. He appealed the rejection but the appeal was denied.  The respondent argued that the hearing standard was a bona fide occupational requirement for the position and was necessary to ensure the safety of employees and the public.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.

Settlement:   The parties were not able to resolve the complaint during mediation.  The respondent therefore requested that the Board of Commissioners review its final offer of settlement.  The Board determined that the offer of settlement was reasonable and it was again presented to the complainant. The complainant accepted the offer and the parties entered into a settlement agreement which included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $2,172 for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect (general damages) plus an additional amount in respect of out of pocket expenses;
  • The respondent revised the information provided to applicants to ensure they are advised at the beginning of the application process that they will be required to meet a minimum hearing standard;
  • The respondent revised the recruitment process to allow applicants to use specific aides to meet the minimum hearing standard;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her mental disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for over four years. She has various mental health issues.  She alleged that she was subjected to abusive behaviour by a co-worker and that although she complained about it to her supervisors, they took insufficient steps to stop the abuse. She took several medical leaves due to the stress caused by the abuse.  While she was on medical leave, her employer advised her that she was to return to work by a certain date and when she was unable to do so, her employment was terminated.

Settlement:   Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant a lump sum payment of $12,500;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 3

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate his special needs based on his physical disability.

The complainant had worked for a large company for about ten years. He has arthritis and other physical limitations and was confined to doing light duties at work. He alleged that while on medical leave, the respondent told him that he could not return to work unless he was fit to resume the full duties of his position. He alleged that due to his medical condition, he was unable to do so.

Settlement:   Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission’s staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $12,000 in severance pay plus an additional amount for vacation pay.
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 4

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Board Directed Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her mental disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for over four years. She has various mental health issues which resulted in a leave of absence from the workplace. She alleged that while on her leave she continued to provide the respondent with updated medical information and when one of the notes provided about four months into her leave indicated she would be off of work indefinitely her employer notified her she was terminated and provided her with four weeks' notice.

The respondent argued that the decision to terminate the complainant’s employment was based on information gathered from Employment Standards indicating that they had to give the complainant four weeks pay in lieu of notice in order to terminate without cause. They further indicated that the complainant was accommodated when the need arose.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.

Settlement:   The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant a payment of $13,500 which included payment for medical costs, employment search costs, termination pay, general damages, and a contribution towards legal fees ;
  • The respondent also provided the Complainant a copy of her personnel file and letter verifying her employment;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release and confidentiality agreement.
- Example 5

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on his physical disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for approximately three years when she accepted a higher level position with them. Shortly after being in her new position she was diagnosed with a disability and required a few months leave from work. She alleged that she felt pressured to return to work and as such returned from her medical leave early. When she did she made some mistakes and was put on probation. She raised the issue of her ongoing disability but felt that information was ignored. She was dismissed a few weeks after her return to work.

Settlement:   Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The Respondent would pay the Complainant $1500 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The Respondent would pay the Complainant $4000 in respect of severance, less any statutory withholdings or deductions required by law;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a release
Criminal Record
Employment

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTC – CRIMINAL RECORD

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under sections 9 and 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him in his employment on the basis of his criminal record.

The complainant worked for the respondent for about six months. He has a criminal record. He alleged that he was not asked if he had a criminal record when he was hired and that when the respondent found out about his criminal record, his employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $3500 in respect of injury to his dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.

Harassment

Employment
- Example 1

HARASSMENT - SEX

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 19 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the sexual harassment she was subjected to during her employment.

The complainant had worked for the small company for less than a month. She alleged that a fellow employee sexually harassed her at work by making a suggestive remark to her about what she was wearing and by asking her to touch him. She alleged that she reported the incident to her employer and that upon doing so, her employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1325 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 2

HARASSMENT - SEX

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 19 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the sexual harassment she was subjected to during her employment.

The complainant worked a small company for about four months. She alleged that the owner of the company sent her a suggestive text message, made suggestive remarks to her at work and groped her. She alleged that she told him to stop several times, but the harassment continued. She felt she could no longer work in such an environment and resigned.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $2000 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release
- Example 3

HARASSMENT - SEX

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 19 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the sexual harassment she was subjected to during her employment.

The complainant worked for a restaurant for about three years. She alleged that one of the owners of the company would constantly make sexist jokes and innuendos and touch her inappropriately. She alleged that she reported this to the other owner who spoke to the alleged harasser but the behaviour continued to the point that the complainant felt she had no choice but to quit.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $1000 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages);
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release
- Example 4

HARASSMENT - SEX

(Pre-Complaint Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant alleged that the respondent failed to take reasonable steps to end the harassment she was subjected to during her employment contrary to section 19 of The Human Rights Code.

The complainant worked for a restaurant.  She alleged that one of the supervisors would make sexually explicit comments towards other female employees in her presence.  She alleged that she reported this behaviour and shortly afterwards her employment was terminated.

Settlement:  Prior to a formal complaint being filed a Commission mediator contacted the respondent to share the Complainant’s allegations.  The parties entered into shuttle mediation.  The respondent conducted its own investigation into the alleged comments which resulted in the Supervisor apologizing to the targets of his comments.  The respondent also had a meeting with all employees to review their harassment policy and agreed to display a poster in the workplace indicating if anyone had concerns with the work environment that they were free to contact management.  The complainant felt that the respondent took appropriate steps to address her concerns and accepted the information provided indicating that her termination was for an unrelated reason.  As such she did not pursue the complaint further.

Reasonable Accommodation

Employment
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Board Directed Mediation)

SUMMARY

The Complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent discriminated against him on the basis of his physical disability and/or failed to reasonably accommodate his disability.

The complainant applied for a position with the respondent and passed several tests and interviews. His application was ultimately rejected by the respondent on the basis that he did not meet the required hearing standard for the position. He appealed the rejection but the appeal was denied.  The respondent argued that the hearing standard was a bona fide occupational requirement for the position and was necessary to ensure the safety of employees and the public.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.

Settlement:   The parties were not able to resolve the complaint during mediation.  The respondent therefore requested that the Board of Commissioners review its final offer of settlement.  The Board determined that the offer of settlement was reasonable and it was again presented to the complainant. The complainant accepted the offer and the parties entered into a settlement agreement which included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $2,172 for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect (general damages) plus an additional amount in respect of out of pocket expenses;
  • The respondent revised the information provided to applicants to ensure they are advised at the beginning of the application process that they will be required to meet a minimum hearing standard;
  • The respondent revised the recruitment process to allow applicants to use specific aides to meet the minimum hearing standard;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her mental disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for over four years. She has various mental health issues. She alleged that she was subjected to abusive behaviour by a co-worker and that although she complained about it to her supervisors, they took insufficient steps to stop the abuse. She took several medical leaves due to the stress caused by the abuse. While she was on medical leave, her employer advised her that she was to return to work by a certain date and when she was unable to do so, her employment was terminated.

Settlement:   Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant a lump sum payment of $12,500;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 3

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate his special needs based on his physical disability.

The complainant had worked for a large company for about ten years. He has arthritis and other physical limitations and was confined to doing light duties at work. He alleged that while on medical leave, the respondent told him that he could not return to work unless he was fit to resume his the full duties of his position. He alleged that due to his medical condition, he was unable to do so.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant $12,000 in severance pay plus an additional amount for vacation pay.
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.
- Example 4

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Board Directed Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her mental disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for over four years. She has various mental health issues which resulted in a leave of absence from the workplace. She alleged that while on her leave she continued to provide the respondent with updated medical information and when one of the notes provided about four months into her leave indicated she would be off of work indefinitely her employer notified her she was terminated and provided her with four weeks’ notice.

The respondent argued that the decision to terminate the complainant’s employment was based on information gathered from Employment Standards indicating that they had to give the complainant four weeks pay in lieu of notice in order to terminate without cause. They further indicated that the complainant was accommodated when the need arose.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.

Settlement:   The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent would pay the complainant a payment of $13,500 which included payment for medical costs, employment search costs, termination pay, general damages, and a contribution towards legal fees ;
  • The respondent also provided the Complainant a copy of her personnel file and letter verifying her employment;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release and confidentiality agreement.
- Example 5

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on his physical disability.

The complainant worked for the respondent for approximately three years when she accepted a higher level position with them.  Shortly after being in her new position she was diagnosed with a disability and required a few months leave from work.  She alleged that she felt pressured to return to work and as such returned from her medical leave early.  When she did she made some mistakes and was put on probation.  She raised the issue of her ongoing disability but felt that information was ignored.  She was dismissed a few weeks after her return to work.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The Respondent would pay the Complainant $1500 in respect of damages to her dignity, feelings and self respect (general damages); 
  • The Respondent would pay the Complainant $4000 in respect of severance, less any statutory withholdings or deductions required by law;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a release
- Example 6

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint under section 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her special needs based on her sex including her pregnancy.

The complainant worked for the respondent, a medium sized company, for about seven months. She alleged that when she told the owner of the company that she was pregnant she was demoted. She alleged that the owner and her co-workers made fun of her pregnancy and that when she gave the owner a note from her doctor limiting her physical activities, the owner told her to leave. She believes the owner could have accommodated her but that he refused to discuss this. The respondent argued that she was moved to another position to protect her from certain substances which could have endangered her pregnancy.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent provided the complainant with a letter of reference, in exchange for which she withdrew her complaint.
Service

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY

(Pre-Investigation Mediation)

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint of discrimination under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent failed to reasonably accommodate her child's special needs based on his physical and mental disabilities.

The complainant's son has various disabilities. He attends school. The complainant wanted to acquire a service dog to assist her son generally and wanted the dog to accompany him to school. The complainant located a dog in the United States that had been trained as a service dog to international standards. The respondent school refused to allow the son to bring the dog to school on the basis that it had not been trained to Canadian standards. Because the complainant did not want to jeopardize the training and bonding between the dog and her child, she decided that her child would be homeschooled until the matter was resolved.

Settlement:  Prior to an investigation into the merits of the complaint by the Commission's staff, and before a formal Reply was submitted by the respondent, the parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent provided the complainant with a letter of apology;
  • The respondent undertook to adopt a service-dog reasonable accommodation policy within six months;
  • The complainant agreed to sign a Release.

Systemic Complaints

Service
- Example 1

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY- SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Adjudication Mediation)

Alzheimer Society of Manitoba v. City of Winnipeg, Transit Department

SUMMARY

The complainant filed a complaint of discrimination under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent’s eligibility criteria used to determine access to Handi-Transit services excludes, and thereby systemically discriminates against persons suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairments.

The complainant alleged that the respondent's eligibility criteria excluded individuals who cannot safely use the regular, fixed-route transit system because they have ADRD. The complainant alleged that an assessment mechanism should be put in place to ensure all individuals needing Handi Transit services, regardless of the nature of their disability or impairment, have access to the service. The respondent argued that individuals with ADRD who have a physical or sensory disability which results in a mobility impairment which meets the eligibility criteria, do qualify Handi-Transit services. The respondent also argued that some individuals with ADRD could use the regular, fixed-route transit system when accompanied by an attendant.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code. Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:  The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The parties would work together to fine-tune an assessment tool to determine the ability of a person with ADRD to use the regular, fixed-route transit system, with or without an attendant;
  • The respondent would make all reasonable efforts to ensure those changes were approved by the appropriate levels of authority within certain timelines;
  • The respondents would publicly announce the policy change by way of the internet and audio messaging and would provide training to drivers to help them understand the needs of people with ADRD.
- Example 2

DISCRIMINATION BASED ON PROTECTED CHARACTERISTICS - DISABILITY - SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION

(Pre-Adjudication Settlement)

SUMMARY

The complainants filed two separate complaints of discrimination against the City of Winnipeg under section 13 of The Human Rights Code alleging that the respondent's method for providing audible signal information and button activated controls for pedestrian crossings is not the equivalent of visual signal information and thereby systemically discriminates against persons with visual impairments and other disabilities.

One complainant alleged that because audible pedestrian signals are activated by a pushbutton, individuals with upper body limitations or who are visually impaired may have difficulty activating the signals, and therefore automated audible signals should be implemented.  The other complainant alleged that the respondent's push button activated pedestrian controls impair the ability of some individuals with disabilities from independently crossing the road.  The respondent argued that push buttons are a standard means for activating a pedestrian right of way and are the only devices that operate reliably in all the weather conditions experienced in Winnipeg.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the alleged contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code.  Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:   The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The respondent will install audible signals at all controlled intersections that have visual signals, over a set time period and will ensure that all intersections that have automated visual signals, also have automated audible signals;
  • The respondent will remove pushbuttons from most of the downtown area and at many locations in the rest of Winnipeg;
  • The respondent will test alternate methods of activating signals that are accessible.  If a feasible alternative to pushbuttons is found it will be implemented;
  • A consultation committee comprised of representatives from the community, the Commission and the respondent will meet annually to discuss progress on the settlement and a report will be made to the public each year.
- Example 3

The Association of Foreign Medical Graduates in Manitoba Inc. v. Manitoba Health, the University of Manitoba and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba

SUMMARY

The complainant, the Association of Foreign Medical Graduates in Manitoba Inc.,  filed a complaint of discrimination under sections 13 and 14 of The Human Rights Code alleging the respondents’ medical licensing process systemically discriminates against international medical graduates (“IMGs”) seeking to become licensed to practice medicine in Manitoba on the basis of their ancestry and national or ethnic origin.

The complainant alleged that the respondents' policies and practices resulted in IMGs being significantly less likely to obtain a residency position than either internationally trained doctors from Western European countries or Canadian graduates.  The complainant also alleged that too few positions are set aside for IMGs.  Further, more onerous requirements are imposed on IMGs who are not from certain designated countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom for the purposes of obtaining conditional registration to provide medical services in Manitoba. The respondents argued that country of education is not synonymous with country of origin and that granting conditional licensing to IMGs from non-designated countries was reasonably necessary to ensure the safe and competent practice of medicine in Manitoba.  The respondents also argued that the selection of candidates for residency training positions for IMGs is based on merit and funding restrictions.

The Board of Commissioners determined that there was sufficient evidence to support a contravention of The Code.  The Board directed the parties to attempt mediation pursuant to subsection 29(2) of The Code. Although mediation was initially unsuccessful, the parties continued to engage in settlement discussions and were proactive in achieving a successful resolution, prior to a public adjudication hearing.

Settlement:  The parties reached a settlement that included the following:

  • The first round of Canadian Resident Matching Service was opened up to all medical graduates, including IMGs;
  • The designation of certain countries for the purposes of determining the criteria for conditional registration was discontinued;
  • The Medical Licensure Program for IMGs in Manitoba was implemented at the University of Manitoba to assist foreign trained doctors to be eligible for up to one year of postgraduate medical education.