Board Did Not Discriminate against Muslim Teacher

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

A demonstrated lack of leadership skills rather than either retribution for the previous human rights complaint he successfully pursued against his employer or discrimination based on his Muslim religion were responsible for a teacher’s repeated failures to be promoted.

Eminently qualified on paper, the grievor — a devout and observant Muslim — emigrated to Canada in the 1960s bringing with him a Bachelor’s degree in science and Masters’ degrees in chemistry. He obtained a Ph.D in chemistry from York University in 1971 and a teaching degree from Dalhousie University in 1976. He also acquired another specialty teaching certification from the University of Toronto in 1987. Hired by a large school board, the grievor began his teaching career in 1989.

Also in 1989, the grievor filed a human rights complaint against his employer claiming that he had been subjected to discrimination based on his place of origin and ethnicity. Following successful litigation in provincial courts, the employer’s application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was ultimately denied and in 2003 the employer was directed to pay damages.