Largest ever award for Ontario human rights breach

Nearly $100,000 on compensatory damages reflect extreme level of humiliation causing employee to become suicidal
By Ronald Minken
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/02/2013

The discrimination, harassment, poisoned workplace and lack of accommodation caused enough damage to the employee’s life and wellbeing that the employee is entitled to almost $100,000 plus four years of lost wages, the Grievance Settlement Board of Ontario has ruled.

On July 24, 2013, the board released a decision in Ontario (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services) and OPSEU (Ranger), Re with respect to whether further compensation is owed. The board awarded $45,000 in compensatory damages for discrimination, harassment and poisoned workplace, which was the largest amount ever awarded by the board. Another $53,000 in compensatory damages was awarded for failure to accommodate over four years, and the employer was also ordered to add vacation credits to Ranger's vacation bank and include overtime and other premium pay as long as he remains in his current position.

The board previously upheld Robert Ranger's grievances that he had suffered discrimination, harassment and a poisoned workplace at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, and that the employer had failed in its duty to accommodate him when he became ill as a result of the harassment and discrimination and ordered the employer to pay $245,242 for lost wages.