LOADING...

Posts Tagged "complaint"

10Sep

Art too sexy for this bar? Human rights complaint launched over decor

by admin

Jasmine Mooney is a successful entrepreneur who owns three Vancouver bars – but lately she’s been defending her taste in art.

Five employees from the Hotel Belmont have launched a human rights complaint over what they contend is an unsafe work environment, caused by what’s on the bar walls.

A large print of a nude woman bent over a muscle car hangs in The Basement, Mooney’s watering hole in the hotel’s lower level. There are also bright neon outlines of a naked woman and man outside the washrooms.

The employees do not work for Mooney, but in other departments in the hotel.

They sought aid from Union Here, the same group that helped employees of the Hotel Georgia launch a sexual harassment claim.

“My reaction was that it was very grotesque and offensive to women,” said Sharan Pawa, spokesperson for Union Here local 40. “The excuse for these images is that they are just trendy and fun, but we don’t think that it’s appropriate because fun doesn’t equate to sexualizing women.”

The F-word is also prominently displayed twice the main bar area, and drawings of dozens of breasts are on the washroom’s ceiling.

Mooney says she choose the artwork herself and does not find it offensive.

”It’s edgy and it’s out there and it’s different” she said. “That’s the thing with art, it’s so subjective.”

She argues similar works are displayed in galleries all over the world, and they are revered by critics.

Her intention was to design a fun establishment that reminds people of the 1950s and their parents basement. The décor is bright. It has a bowling alley, arcade and jelly bean dispensers.

Mooney said minors will never be permitted inside, and none of her employees have complained to her.

“Absolutely not. No, we go above and beyond to ensure our staff are comfortable and secure,” she insisted.

27Aug

Human rights complaint dismissed after man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio

by admin

A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

27Aug

Man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio; human rights complaint dismissed

by admin

A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

3Jul

Illegal Airbnb hostel operator’s human rights complaint dismissed

by admin

Alyse Kotyk, CTV News Vancouver


Published Wednesday, July 3, 2019 1:24PM PDT


Last Updated Wednesday, July 3, 2019 1:33PM PDT

A North Vancouver townhouse owner whose strata tried to shut down her 15-bed Airbnb rental has had a human rights complaint denied.

Emily Yu filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal alleging her strata violated her rights when it told her she was breaking their bylaw by running a short term rental out of her home.

In her complaint, Yu said the strata’s demand discriminated against her disability, which she said requires her to rent out her unit for income. 

However, tribunal member Devyn Cousineau cited a previous Supreme Court decision on the same dispute that said there was not enough evidence of a mental disability. 

“There is a one-paragraph letter from what appears to be a general practitioner, which states that she has long-term post-concussion issues and ongoing disability. This is simply, not enough, in my view,” the Supreme Court judge’s decision from 2018 says.

Cousineau’s decision released on June 26 said the B.C. Human Rights Code allows the tribunal to dismiss a complaint that “has been appropriately dealt with in another proceeding.” She pointed out that this was not the first time Yu and her strata had filed formal complaints against each other.

In 2017, following an application from her strata, Yu was ordered by the Civil Resolution Tribunal to shut down her rental, known as the “Oasis Hostel” operating out of her townhouse on 13th Avenue near Chesterfield Avenue.

“The owner used (the unit) as an ‘Airbnb’ unit since at least May 2016, whereby she rented out as many as 15 beds and (had) up to 20 short-term boarders at any one time,” the CRT decision says. 

“The Airbnb use is not disputed and is supported by various witness statements and documentary evidence, including ‘Craigslist’ ads provided to the tribunal, with the owner apparently charging between $50 and $102 per night for each bed.” 

Background information in the CRT decision also noted that Yu never had a business licence with the City of North Vancouver and that the city had ordered her to stop running the Airbnb on multiple occasions as it went against its bylaws. 

As a result of the CRT’s decision, Yu was fined $4,600 for running the Airbnb. That’s when the matter came before the Supreme Court, when Yu tried to appeal CRT’s decision. However, in 2018, she lost. 

In the case of the recent human rights complaint, Cousineau felt Yu’s issue had already been adequately dealt with by CRT and the Supreme Court and could not “support the re-litigation of the same issue.”  


Source link

26Jun

Notorious illegal hostel owner has human rights complaint dismissed | CBC News

by admin

A North Vancouver woman who was repeatedly ordered to shut down her illegal 15-bed hostel won’t get another chance to argue she needs the extra income because she’s disabled.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has declined to hear Emily Yu’s complaint alleging discrimination by her townhouse strata, saying the issue had already been dealt with by the Civil Resolution Tribunal and the B.C. Supreme Court.

“I can see no principled reason to allow her to re‐litigate the same issue again, this time in a different forum. As the Supreme Court of Canada has said: ‘Forum shopping for a different and better result can be dressed up in many attractive adjectives, but fairness is not among them,'” tribunal member Devyn Cousineau wrote in Wednesday’s decision.

Yu’s strata, the City of North Vancouver and the courts have all told Yu to stop booking short-term guests for her three-bedroom townhouse. She was advertising up to 15 beds in the “Oasis Hostel” on sites like Airbnb, iBooked.ca and TripAdvisor.

The operation violated strata bylaws, and the city described it as a nuisance and a fire hazard.

In April, Yu was fined $5,000 for contempt of court after she refused to abide by an order of the Civil Resolution Tribunal and continued to rent out the beds.

But Yu told the human rights tribunal that she needed the extra income because she has a disability.

She said she planned to raise new issues that “could potentially affect many marginalized women” and said dismissing her complaint would result in a “miscarriage of justice,” according to Wednesday’s decision.

As Cousineau pointed out, however, Yu had previously raised the disability issue when she tried to appeal the Civil Resolution Tribunal decision in B.C. Supreme Court.

As part of her appeal, she submitted an affidavit and portions of a psychiatric assessment outlining her disabilities, which appear to include post-concussion problems, but the judge said there was “insufficient evidence” of a mental disability that would justify her continued violation of the strata bylaw.

Yu’s strata applied to the court last year, asking for an order forcing Yu to sell her unit, but the judge has yet to make a decision on that, calling it a “remedy of last resort.”

Airbnb has suspended Yu and her listing is no longer available on TripAdvisor.

 


Source link

9Mar

‘A matter of life or death’: Woman with lung disease wins complaint over neighbour’s smoking

by admin

The secondhand smoke in Ruth Bowker’s new home was so pervasive, she was forced to spend most of her time hiding in her bedroom, the only room she described as “consistently livable.”

The Abbotsford senior has pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic and progressive lung disease, and when she first viewed the condo as a potential buyer in 2015, there was no smoke smell, according to a decision from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. But before she and her husband took possession of the suite that November, two habitual smokers had moved in downstairs.

This week, the tribunal ruled the strata had failed to accommodate Bowker’s disability, and ordered it to pay her $7,500 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Bowker told the tribunal she was “horrified” to discover the smoke odour when she moved into her new place in the Clearbrook neighbourhood.

“Ms. Bowker began opening the patio doors even though it was late November, and purchased large fans to try to blow the smoke outside. She also bought two air purifiers. These measures were of little avail,” tribunal member Emily Ohler wrote.

Ohler said the condo complex’s strata “did very little” to help Bowker for a full year after she first complained about how the smoke was affecting her, and her health deteriorated during that time.

The lack of action from the strata, “prevented her from enjoying a regular existence within the confines of her home; it exacerbated her disability; it had a negative impact on her mental state; and it added to her already heavy mental load during a time she was dealing with her husband’s deteriorating health,” Ohler wrote.

‘But a person’s home is their castle’ 

The tribunal’s ruling provides an interesting discussion of how to balance individual property rights with the responsibility to accommodate a disability, and the need for strata councils to educate themselves on human rights law.

Bowker’s lawyer, Jonathan Blair, said the decision clarifies the legal obligations of strata councils, which tend to be made up of volunteers with little working knowledge of property law.

“It’s not necessarily legitimate for us to hold on to this sense of, ‘But a person’s home is their castle,’ as a defence against accommodating someone who’s facing a barrier. In the end, sometimes we have to give up … certain freedoms,” Blair said.

As Ohler points out, many cities and strata already place numerous legal limits on what people can do inside their own homes, including noise bylaws and rules against pets.

Bowker’s neighbour was defensive when she complained about the smoke, according to the decision. (Google Maps)

According to the decision, Bowker spoke to her neighbour, identified by the initials LR, shortly after she moved in. But the woman and her husband were defensive and Bowker wrote to the strata to complain on Dec. 15, 2015.

In turn, the strata wrote to LR and said any measures to minimize the smoke coming from her condo “would be greatly appreciated.” It also ensured some physical work was done on the two units in an attempt to contain the fumes.

But these steps did not stop the smoke from entering Bowker’s apartment, the decision says.

By the end of 2016, Bowker was still asking the strata for a solution, but the situation was getting dire. A doctor’s note submitted to the tribunal showed that she was beginning to have suicidal thoughts.

“She said, among other things, that her recent pulmonary function test showed a noticeable deterioration. ‘This is a matter of life or death for me, literally,’ she said,” Ohler wrote.

The strata sent a cease and desist letter to LR and her husband in December 2016, to no effect. A month later, the council threatened to fine her under a nuisance bylaw, but LR replied with a letter pointing out that her nicotine addiction was also a disability that could be protected under the Human Rights Code.

2 failed votes for non-smoking bylaw

According to the decision, the strata council brought a non-smoking bylaw to a vote at two annual general meetings in response to Bowker’s complaints. Both times, it didn’t garner the necessary 75 per cent of votes to pass.

But Ohler said the council did not properly explain to strata members why the bylaw was being proposed.

“It appeared to see the non‐smoking bylaw as a kind of lifestyle choice rather than as a part of its efforts to meet its legal responsibilities. At least in part, the result was that Ms. Bowker was subjected to inappropriate remarks and made to feel ostracized from the community,” Ohler said.

The strata held two votes on a proposed no-smoking bylaw, but both failed. (Sebastien Bozon/Getty Images)

She ordered the strata to stop discriminating against Bowker, but held off on ordering it to enact a non-smoking bylaw. That’s because the strata is waiting for a decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal on whether LR violated the nuisance bylaw.

Ohler said Bowker and the strata could return to the tribunal if the CRT does not resolve the matter.

And Ohler added that while LR would likely have an argument that her nicotine addiction is protected as a disability, her rights would have to be balanced with Bowker’s if the question came before the tribunal.

“While a person addicted to nicotine may be able to go outside of their unit to smoke, a person with a smoke‐sensitive disability cannot be expected to go outside to safely breathe,” Ohler wrote.


Source link

19Jan

Molly Maid cleaner files human rights complaint after losing job during pregnancy

by admin

A woman who worked as a cleaner for Molly Maid in Metro Vancouver has filed a human rights complaint alleging the company fired her because she needed to attend emergency medical appointments for complications with her pregnancy.

The maid service applied to dismiss the complaint, arguing that it has offered the cleaner, Katelyn Jansen, a reasonable settlement of about $10,500 for damages for injury to dignity and wages lost.

Jansen argued that amount wasn’t enough. She also wants the company to create and implement a policy on pregnant women in the workplace.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal recently sided with Jansen and denied the company’s application, paving the way for the case to go forward. 

In an affidavit filed as part of her response to Molly Maid’s application, Jansen said, 15 months later, she still feels hurt by the company’s decision to dismiss her. 

‘Emotionally fragile’

Jansen said the appointments she attended at the time were to find out if her baby would be born with a “serious, life-altering disability.”

“I was in the most emotionally fragile and vulnerable place that I had been in in my life,” she said.

Molly Maid’s lawyer says the company takes issue with some of Jansen’s assertions. The decison notes that the company said it didn’t fire her, but instead assumed she had quit because she hadn’t contacted them for six days. 

West Coast LEAF, a legal organization that supports gender equality, wouldn’t comment on the validity of the complaint but said many employers are still unaware of their obligation to reasonably accommodate pregnant women at work. 

“We do hear quite regularly about challenges for pregnant women to receive proper accommodation in their employment,” said Raji Mangat, the organization’s director of litigation.

“Certainly in a field where many, if not most, of the employees are women, it would seem that the employer ought to have some sort of contingency plan in place.”

Hospital visit

According to the decision, Jansen had to miss work the first time beginning on July 31, 2017. She was 21 and four months pregnant and had been working for the company since February of that year.

In her affidavit, Jansen says she had scheduled an ultrasound for that day, but the Molly Maid asked her to reschedule it because the end of the month is its busiest time.

Jansen said on the night of July 30 she went to hospital after she experienced “excruciating abdominal pain” and bleeding. 

The next day, Jansen said in her affidavit, she met with her doctor and proceeded with the ultrasound, which she said she had forgotten to cancel.

Her employer was skeptical, she said.

“So weird it’s on the day you have twice requested off????” Jansen said one of the owners texted when she told them she couldn’t work. 

Jansen said she interpreted the response to indicate the owner wasn’t concerned about her condition. 

‘Angry and powerless’

Over the course of the next two weeks, according to Jansen’s affidavit, she attended more medical appointments — some outside of work hours, others not — and discovered her baby likely would be born with a genetic disorder. 

“I felt scared and helpless. At the time, I could not focus on anything else,” Jansen wrote in her affidavit.

In her affidavit Jansen said she last worked on Thursday, Aug. 10 when she left early to attend a medical appointment. 

The following Monday, Jansen said her midwife informed the company she would again have to miss work to attend a medical appointment the next day.

By Wednesday, Aug. 16, Jansen told the company she could return to work. But Molly Maid told her they assumed she wasn’t returning because they hadn’t heard from her in six days. 

Jansen said Molly Maid told her it had already issued her final cheque and a Record of Employment stating that she had quit. In her affidavit, Jansen said she felt “dumbfounded and sick and hurt and angry and powerless.”

Jansen’s baby was born on Dec. 26, 2017. Jansen said the child is legally blind, with only one functioning kidney and a club foot. 

Her complaint is scheduled for a trial at the tribunal in February.


Source link

29Mar

Justice orders N.S. Human Rights Commission to accept accessibility complaint – Halifax

by admin

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (HRC) has to accept a complaint by a group alleging systemic discrimination by the province in how it enforces regulations regarding washroom accessibility.

READ MORE: Wheelchair users ask court to force human rights commission to hear their complaint

The commission rejected the complaint twice last year and referred it to an ombudsman.

In a written decision dated March 28, Justice Frank Edwards said the decisions made by two human rights officers dealing with the initial complaint were “unreasonable.”

One argument made in court from the commission involved the number of requests it gets.

“Counsel for the Commission argues that the HRC would be overwhelmed if every inquiry had to be treated as a complaint. I am not impressed with that argument,” said Edwards.

He also said that the HRC has to inquire into complaints, per the Human Rights Act [PDF].

David Fraser, who represented the six applicants on a pro bono basis, said the group didn’t take issue with specific restaurants but, rather, how the relevant government departments would waive the requirement for an accessible bathroom in a number of instances.

“So when a restaurant builds a patio, they have to make that patio accessible, but they don’t have to provide an accessible washroom,” he said on Wednesday.

Paul Vienneau, an applicant who uses a wheelchair, said it’s important for him to be able to wash his hands before eating at a restaurant.

“I carry an unnamed hand cleaner with me constantly, which is not a legit answer to this problem,” he said.

A spokesperson for the HRC said that no one was available for an interview on Wednesday, but a statement was provided.

“While the Commission will accept direction of the court to process this particular complaint, the Commission will be appealing the Court’s interpretation of the Human Rights Act,” it read.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.