Ontario government hit with stiff penalty over discrimination against jail guard who was gay

Ontario's correctional services ministry slapped with damages
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 12/02/2013

Ontario’s correctional services ministry has been slapped with the highest damage amount ever awarded against the province after a judge ruled it discriminated against a gay jail guard.

Robert Ranger — a gay ex-jail guard formerly with the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre — launched his case against the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services more than 10 years ago. Ranger filed a grievance back in 2002, saying he was subjected to harassment and discrimination based on his sexual orientation. The alleged poisoned work environment caused Ranger to fall ill and, when he returned to work in 2004, he said the ministry failed to accommodate him by finding another position. He indicated he was ready to return to work, as long as it was not at the Ottawa-Carleton jail.

Then in 2010, arbitrator Deborah Leighton — who also presided over the current case — ruled in Ranger’s favour, saying the jail did not make any serious attempts to find him another position. Leighton ordered the ministry pay just under $250,000 in lost wages.