JOB DISCRIMINATION AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY: CRARR TO HELP HISPANIC PROFESSIONAL IN CIVIL RIGHTS CASE
Montreal, March 6, 2015 — McGill University and a former Director at the Rossy Cancer Network are cited as respondents in two complaints of ethnic discrimination and psychological harassment in employment filed by a Hispanic professional who was terminated and who is fighting for reintegration.
In his fifties, Arturo (not his real name) immigrated to Canada in 2006 with his wife and three children. After his arrival, he obtained his equivalencies from the Department of Immigration and Cultural Communities and learned French and English to integrate the job market.
His dream was achieved in March 2012, when McGill’s Faculty of Medicine offered him a position of project administrator for a project at the Rossy Cancer Network (RCN), which he accepted without hesitation.
Arturo worked hard and scored a positive performance evaluation in July 2012. Recognizing his potentials, the RCN head appointed him Medical/Clinical Liaison in December 2012.
His enthusiasm was unfortunately cut short with the appointment in February 2013 of a new director of operations at the RCN. While his second evaluation in May 2013 was as good as the previous one, the new director took away his title of Medical/Clinical Liaison under the guise that his English level is inadequate. The position he held would not be re-evaluated while he performed daily the tasks of a project manager instead of those of a project administrator.
Tensions began to mount at work as Arturo felt that the new director had reservations towards him. During a regular private meeting, this director asked him about his age, his ethnic background and the position he held. The team around him was made up of employees of different ethnic backgrounds, but whose mother tongue is for the most part English. Arturo was the only Hispanic and although his English is good, he speaks with a Hispanic accent.
Since July 2013, the feeling of being harassed and discriminated continued to mount as the director of operations decided to exclude him systematically and without valid reasons, from all projects in which he should have participated.
Furthermore, an Excel document sent by mistake to employees allowed Arturo to find out that his salary was inferior to those of his colleagues who held a similar position.
In November 2013, the director of operations decided to terminate his contract, giving him practically two days to pack his belongings and leave the RCN premises. The verbal reason for his termination was restructuring, without further details. Subsequent to his departure, 5 new employees were hired in positions different from his position.
Since his termination, he has not been able to find work.
Arturo decided in January 2014 to take legal action against the director of operations, who has since left the RCN, and McGill University.
Given the precarious situation in which the University and his former director of operations put him, and the difficulties of finding new employment, Arturo seeks foremost his reintegration in the RCN. However, the University has remained silent on this issue.
The Labor Standards Commission assessed his complaint of psychological harassment and referred the case to the Labor Relations Commission for a hearing on May 1st, 2015. In the mean time, the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission has begun to investigate his complaint of discrimination and harassment based on ethnic origin, age and language.
Last month, CRARR has accepted his mandate to assist and represent him before the human rights commission.