No discrimination, just misunderstandings and miscommunication

Company’s only female truck driver experienced some differential treatment but it wasn’t because of her sex or injury: Tribunal
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/08/2017

A Manitoba-based transportation company treated its only female truck driver differentially and adversely at times, but this was due to many other factors and not her sex or disability, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

Sandra Temple is a truck operator with 20 years of experience. In the winter of 2011 while she was living in Salmon Arm, B.C., she started working for Horizon International Distributors, a trucking company based in Winnipeg. Horizon specialized in the transportation of perishable and refrigerated foods across Canada and employed two types of truck operators — those who drive the company’s trucks (operator-employees) and those who own their own trucks and work for Horizon on a contract basis (owner-operators). Temple owned her own truck and worked as an owner-operator. She was the only truck driver for Horizon at the time.

Horizon paid owner-operators such as Temple by their mileage, as well as a fixed minimum amount for delivery. Owner-operators were responsible for the maintenance of their vehicles and expenses, while employee drivers charged expenses to company accounts. Owner-operators normally had their expenses billed to Horizon, which the company listed in its monthly earnings and expenses statements for them.