Human rights complaint against Surrey-based DIVERSEcity to proceed

Not-for-profit agency’s application to have the complaint against it dismissed has been denied

A human rights complaint lodged against a not-for-profit Surrey agency that helps immigrants and refugees settle into the larger community has survived the respondent’s petition to have it dismissed.

British Columbia Human Rights tribunal member Norman Trerise has denied the agency’s application to have the complaint tossed, saying he is “unable to conclude that the complaint has no reasonable prospect of success.”

Trerise noted in his reasons for decision that Mary Tanielian, who has held managerial positions with DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, claims the agency discriminated against her “in the area of her employment on the ground of mental disability by failing to accommodate her in a return to the workplace after a medical leave of absence,” contrary to the Human Rights Code.

Tanielian’s allegations have not been proven before any hearing and DIVERSEcity denies it discriminated against her. Moreover, Trerise advised, “I make no findings of fact on the merits of the complaint.”

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

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

DIVERSEcity submitted that it had undergone restructuring while Tanielian was on a lengthy medical absence from work and that all its director-level positions, including hers, were eliminated. Many employees had been affected and she had not been singled out, the agency said.

Trerise, in his reasons, noted it’s Tanielian’s position that during and after DIVERSEcity’s restructuring period, “several managers either retained their positions or were given reasonably similar positions within the organization.”

The Human Rights Code, Section 13, states that an employee must not be discriminated against “because of their race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age of that person…”

Trerise concluded, “In all of the circumstances, I am satisfied that there are discrepancies in the evidence and unexplained events in the chronicle that has been provided by the parties which can only be resolved by viva voce evidence, including cross-examination.”

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

Just Posted

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

North Delta Secondary teacher up for B.C. education award

Prabhjot Grewal is up for a Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education in the Outstanding New Teacher category

Publication ban lifted on transgender complainant’s name in Surrey waxing dispute

Jessica Yaniv filed 13 discrimination claims against salons, one in Surrey, based on gender identity

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

HISTORY: Surrey hoedowns and ‘moonlight dances’ were the place to be

Dancing, revelry united community members of all ages

Most Read