Kamani was a secretary employed with Canada Post. She had received numerous complaints and warnings about her poor performance, however she failed to improve and was fired. When she was dismissed she tried to file a complaint on the grounds of disability and sex but this was rejected. The Commission recommended that she pursue the ground of race as some other minorities had been laid off from the office recently. The original allegations were abandoned and only the racial allegations brought to the Tribunal.
- Was there discrimination in contravention of s.7 of the Canadian Human Rights Act?
The chairman of the Tribunal is very critical of the Commission and their decision to bring the case to the Tribunal. He says that it is clear that this was not a case of racial discrimination as the other employees who left testified against that claim and said that they liked the respondent Mr. Bruce. Further, he accommodated her on numerous occasions when he could have discriminated against her, showing that this was not discrimination. The fact that there was all this evidence that Mr. Bruce had not discriminated on the grounds of race, and in fact proves the contrary, causes the complaint to be dismissed. The chairman goes on to criticize the Commission, saying that any reasonable person would not have allowed this case to come to the Tribunal as there was no issue of discrimination. He says that the Commission has a positive duty under s.41(d) not to pursue a trivial complaint. Making a claim of discrimination against a party seriously harms their reputation and the Commission must do a better job of ensuring that cases are legitimate before they reach the Tribunal. Further, recommending a ground that was not identified, but was understood, by the claimant is not a job for the Commission.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission must be careful in their job as gatekeeper not to pursue frivolous claims as they have serious implications on the reputation of the parties against whom claims are raised.