The Complainant drove a school bus for a contractor (“the Respondent company”). A condition of the employment was that employees must possess a valid Class 2 Drivers’ Licence, which is subject to specific medical standards. One day, the Complainant visited her doctor for a medical examination, as required for the renewal of her Class 2 Driver’s licences. Her doctor recommended that she undergo an electrocardiogram to an irregular heartbeat. During this time, the Operations Manager of the Respondent Company was told to fire the Complainant because of her disruptive personality and argumentative nature. She did not do so immediately. At the same time, the Complainant was told she should not drive school buses until after a consultation with a cardiologist.
The Complainant advised the Respondent company that she would be off work for two or three months in order for her to schedule and attend an appointment with a cardiologist. Eventually, she received the medical clearance to return to work. Approximately two weeks later, an issue arose with the Complainant and the Respondent company fired her. The Complainant filed a complaint with the Yukon Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”), alleging that she faced discrimination on the basis of a physical disability.
First, the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication (“the Board”) determined whether there was prima facie discrimination. In other words, at the first blush, does this appear to be a case of discrimination. In this case, to prove prima facie discrimination, the Complainant would have to establish three elements:
- Was she treated unfavourably on the basis of a physical disability in contravention of section 7(h) of the Yukon Human Rights Act (“the Act”)?
- Was she discrimination against in connection with any aspect of employment in contravention of section 9(b) of the Act?
- Was there evidence that the Complainant’s disability was a factor in her firing?
The Board of Adjudication accepted that a disability at the root of a discriminatory act may be real or perceived. Nevertheless, the Board found that the given evidence was not sufficient to prove that there was discrimination in this case. There were other factors that resulted in the Complainant’s firing.