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The applicant ( Maysadis Verina Meikle) filed a complaint with the Tribunal making a series of allegations. In her application, she alleges that she suffered reprisal, contrary to section 8 of the human rights code, when she complained about an incident of workplace violence.

In her application, she made the following allegations:

In July 2008, she was the victim of a physical assault at work. When management failed to investigate her complaint in an appropriate manner, she reported the incident to the police

In March 2009, her managers reassigned her from a modified position (which was assigned to her as accommodation for documented disability) to duties that exacerbated her disability. The plant manager harassed her when she reported this unfair treatment to head office.

In March 2009, she met with the general manager to complain that since reporting the assault to the police, she had been treated differently at work. The general manager engaged in a fact finding process with her managers, who all denied the allegation of differential treatment.

In April 2009, she was returned to her modified position a month later only to experience another form of unfair treatment when her right to a double break was taken from her but not from her white coworkers.

In May 2009, she was harassed by managers (a superintendent and a supervisor) for not wearing the proper safety footwear

In her application, she includes two documents:

A preliminary report of her union’s human rights investigation (dated Sept 2009) into her complaint indicates that “further investigation of her allegations was warranted”. The report listed the following allegations,
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made by the applicant in August 2009:

She felt that management did not treat her allegations of assault seriously because she is black and the alleged perpetrator is white

A few months prior to the alleged assault two persons of colour had an argument in the cafeteria and were subsequently fired

An employee of colour was sent home for not having his safety shoes , but a few days earlier a white employee was sent to the cafeteria until he was provided with a mangers safety shoes; and

The applicant alleged that race related preference was applied when her modified job assignment was given to another employee and when her pre assigned break time was modified to accommodate another employee.

The applicant stated that the plant manager tried to intimidate her after she spoke to a head office representative about perceived unfair treatment

The applicant alleged that a superintendent, MS tried to “set her up for discipline for not wearing safety shoes

At the summary hearings, the Tribunal chair asked her how the employer’s response to the alleged workplace assault was linked to a prohibited ground of discrimination. She responded that she could not point to any link “at this time” except to point to the findings of the human rights investigation conducted by the union.

Legal test and principles

In Noble v York University (2010), the tribunal set forth three elements which, together, establish a successful reprisal application:

1) An action taken against, or threat made to, the complainant

2) The alleged action or threat is related to the complainant having claimed, or attempted to enforce, a right under the Code; and

3) An intention on the part of the respondent to retaliate for the claim or attempt to enforce the right

Furthermore, the Tribunal stated that the following principles were relevant

1) There is no strict requirement that the complainant has filed a complaint or application under the Code;
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and

2) There is no requirement that the Tribunal find the respondent did in fact violate the complainant’s substantive rights to be free from discrimination.1) Did the applicant establish a nexus between her race and the employer’s investigation of her claim of workplace violence?

2) Did the applicant establish a nexus between race and the employer’s reassignment of her modified duties?