Court Sides With a Man Who Claims He Was Refused Promotions at Work Because He Wasn't Gay Enough

 

 

Here’s something you don’t come across every day.

Canada’s Federal Court has ruled in favor of a man who sued his employer over discrimination based on the fact that he’s not gay.

As reported by the National Post, straight man Aaren Jagadeesh filed a complaint on April of 2017, but the case was dismissed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission. 

Aaren had claimed his boss said he had “no hope” for a promotion unless he joined a “group” — the kind comprised solely of gay and bisexual dudes.

And here’s what the CHRC had to say just over a year ago:

“Before rendering the decision, the Commission reviewed the report disclosed to you previously and any submission(s) filed in response to the report. After examining this information, the Commission decided … to dismiss the complaint because, having regard to all of the circumstances of the complaint, further inquiry is not warranted.”

But the Federal Court’s ordered the Commission to perform a new investigation.

The manager’s been given an “extended leave of absence.”

Aaren asserts he was disallowed advancement repeatedly. 

And hopelessly:

At a one-on-one meeting with his manager on Sept. 15, 2015, Jagadeesh said he was told that every male manager in the office was gay or bisexual, and, unless he joined this “group” there was “no hope” for him, court heard.

In the meantime, as the story goes, other young male employees were bumped up with little or no qualifications.

Aaren was purportedly told to “be smart and learn.” Then the boss asked what he thought of him.

Aeren told his manager he was a bit of the ol’ heterosexual.

The incident, he says, impacted his “mental stress and self-dignity.”

But there’s more to the story:

His job, according to court records, required him to call 60 to 70 customers each day to sell products, which required him to read four to six pages of product information and legal disclosures.

After several months of continuous calling, he developed severe throat and vocal cord pain. His family doctor recommended modified duties. He claims he was instead asked by the bank to go on short-term disability. CIBC referred him to another doctor, who in turn referred him to a specialist. The specialist concluded he suffered from muscle tension dysphonia and needed regular medical breaks to fully recover, court heard.

Then came the mistreatment:

Jagadeesh said CIBC started discriminating against him soon after the diagnosis. His pay as well as bonuses and incentives were cut. He said he was threatened with discipline if he took his medical breaks. He said he was turned down for 17 alternate jobs.

So here’s the complaint in a nutshell:

Jagadeesh believed “the encounter” with his manager about sexual orientation “was the primary reason for his discrimination and explained why, despite his qualifications, experience, and excellent performance, he was denied workplace accommodation for his disability, and not offered any alternative position,” [as per the judge].”

And now, a probe is comin’. Federal Court Justice Janet M. Fuhrer laid it out thusly:

“Based on the Commission’s lack of thoroughness in reviewing the grounds of Mr. Jagadeesh’s complaint, I grant the application for judicial review. The decision under review is set aside and the matter is returned to the Commission to conduct a fresh investigation, with a different investigator, of Mr. Jagadeesh’s complaint and render a new decision based on the full record.”

He’s got a brand new chance to fight the alleged tyranny. Thanks to Justice Fuhrer.

-ALEX

 

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