BC Human Rights Tribunal ignores the reality of workplace discrimination

The Human Rights Tribunal pretends that it’s impossible to prove gender discrimination in the work place, unless there is some sort of sexual harassment or very obvious sexual language.

However, this attitude denies the realities of women’s experience. Yes, sexual harassment is all too common and extremely detrimental when it happens. But, it’s even more common that a woman would be denied opportunities, be subject to unexplained hostile behaviour and her comments and suggestions would be ignored and mocked. Discrimination in the workplace often manifests itself in opportunities given to less qualified people who don’t have the same gender, racial or other characteristic.

The tribunal needs to listen to women to find out how they experience discrimination in the workplace because the reality is that millions of women have experienced it to various degrees of seriousness. The fact that I was fired because of it kicks it up a notch and justified the human rights complaint, which was dismissed without a hearing on grounds that were unrelated and even denied by the employer.

By denying the right of women to have their experiences heard and recognized, the Human Rights Tribunal is not fulfilling its mandate to uphold the Code, which states that its purpose is not only to stop discrimination, but also “to identify and eliminate persistent patterns of inequality.”

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