Teaching assistant eyes shorter commute

Worker who had eye condition that prevented her from driving claimed discrimination when she was transferred farther from home
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of You Make the Call looks at a teaching assistant (TA) who was unable to drive and claimed discrimination when her job was moved farther away from home. Sue Anne Snow of Sydney, N.S., worked as a TA for special needs students with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. Snow didn’t have any disciplinary problems with the board during her employment.

Snow had failed a driver’s licence test when she was younger due to vision problems which continued to deteriorate. When she applied to the school board for casual work in 1997, she indicated she didn’t have a driver’s licence but didn’t say she had any physical or health limitations. In an interview for a permanent position two years later, she told the board she was willing to work in Sydney Mines or North Sydney, which were some distance across the harbour from Sydney.

In late 2001, budget cuts forced the board to reassign TAs between schools. Snow had to go to a job picking event where they would pick new placements according to their seniority. Snow had the least seniority and ended up with a position at a school in Sydney Mines.