Office closure, dismissal following pregnancy announcement coincidental

Timing of decision soon after worker’s pregnancy reveal raised eyebrows, but evidence showed declining revenues and no place for worker in other office
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/26/2018

A British Columbia worker has lost her discrimination complaint when the office where she worked was closed and her employment terminated two months after she announced she was pregnant.

Skeena Rent-A-Car is a car rental service based primarily in Terrace, B.C., with offices in Terrace and at the airport shared by Terrace and Kitimat, B.C. In February 2011, the company set up an office in Kitimat to tap into the demand for increased vehicle rentals there due to a new policy by Rio Tinto, a large company in Kitimat, associated with a modernization project that was underway. Rio Tinto’s policy was to transport employees from the airport to Kitimat in company-owned buses. Because of this policy during the modernization project, Rio Tinto employees were unable to rent vehicles at the airport and instead had to do so in Kitimat.

Skeena hired Sierra Crockart in August 2014 to be the manager of the Kitimat branch. She also occasionally worked at the airport office. In 2014 and 2015, revenues for the Kitimat branch were high, so Crockart had two employees working under her.