Delay locks up rights case of corrections officer

Tardy filing showed lack of good faith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Aggrieved employees sometimes use human rights commissions as their “courts” of last resort: when they have failed to find relief in other forums, they lodge a rights complaint.

Because of the backlogs at the commissions, court procedural rules, and the generally higher monetary awards provided by courts and arbitrations, it can be strategically sound to at least suspend a rights complaint. But leaving it until last can mean it is dismissed for delay.

That recently happened to George Riches, who had worked as a corrections officer. In October 1995, Riches lost his job on the grounds that he harassed others and was generally unprofessional. He grieved through his union, claiming that his behaviour was caused by illness, but the grievance was dismissed by the arbitrator and on appeal.