Emergency dispatcher’s human rights complaint ‘not accepted for filing’

Tribunal won’t hear complaint of dispatcher claiming to suffer from PTSD after she missed deadline

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal will not hear the complaint of an emergency call dispatcher claiming to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder because she missed her deadline to file.

The emergency communications operator, whose name has not been revealed, lodged a human rights complaint against E-Comm Emergency Communications for B.C. and an unnamed supervisor alleging discrimination in employment based on mental and physical disability.

At issue was whether her complaint was filed outside the six month limitation period under Section 22 of the Human Rights Code. Tribunal member Steven Adamson’s reasons for decision were issued July 25.

“I make no findings of fact regarding the merits of this complaint,” Adamson said in his reasons. He did, however, conclude he is “not persuaded that her mental disability precluded her ability to advance her legal interests and file a timely complaint.”

In his view, he said, the complainant “has not shown that her complaint raises a unique issue that the Tribunal should hear to advance the purposes of the Code” and he determined that “the complaint is not accepted for filing.”

Her job is answering emergency and non-emergency calls for police, fire and ambulance services.

In 2009 she reported taking a “difficult” emergency call, the details of which weren’t provided. In early 2016, she reported being sexually assaulted. “There does not appear to be any work connection to this incident,” Adamson noted.

As a result, she was off work for nearly three months.

READ ALSO: Cucumber picker files human rights complaint against Surrey greenhouse

READ ALSO: Surrey Knights hockey team owners seek $250,000 for alleged discrimination

Adamson decided to shield her identity and that of her supervisor. “I am persuaded that public knowledge of the parties’ names, as it relates to being able to identify the ECO’s mental disability, may have a negative effect on her livelihood and could possibly stigmatize her in the suburb where she lives.”

In June 2016 the complainant filed a WorkSafeBC claim for post traumatic stress disorder, which was initially denied.

She applied in March 2017 for a different job with E-Comm, Adamson noted, because she was “suffering from PTSD and accumulative work stress, as well as being sexual assault victim, and was no longer able to handle taking sexual assault and suicide calls as an ECO.” She also sought counselling.

At about this same time, she said, her supervisor repeatedly called her into her office to discuss errors she was making as a ECO “while failing to offer her assistance of move her into another position.”

She said her supervisor reminded her she had no sick leave left and had told her that her employer wasn’t responsible for helping her obtain counselling, Adamson noted. The complainant alleged her supervisor suggested to her that she find a counsellor who would accommodate her work schedule even though it took her a year to secure counselling through Victim Services, he added.

She also alleged her supervisor told her she was a danger to the public. In late June 2017 she went on medical leave, which is continuing. Adamson noted that a couple months later, as stated by the complainant, she “checked herself into hospital for psychiatric problems after ruminating about self-harm.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey Community Leader award winners revealed

Ten outstanding representatives of Surrey’s vibrant community took home trophies Tuesday night

Surrey football teams in Subway Bowl playoff hunt this week

Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers play at BC Place Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 16

MINTY: No magic wand to create ’70s-themed ‘Cinderella’ panto in Surrey

Cast, crew and directors work hard to bring musical show to arts centre stage, starting Nov. 27

White Rock to ‘embark on a new direction’ for city’s management

Dan Bottrill has been the city’s chief administrative officer since 2012

Five free Christmas movies in Surrey on Cineplex ‘Community Day’ for charity

Donations encouraged on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 7

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Bargaining to resume in Metro Vancouver transit strike as bus driver overtime ban looms

Both sides might be headed back to the table to prevent new overtime ban

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Most Read