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Refusal to Hire Male Aide Discriminatory
September 30, 2009

The BC Human Rights Tribunal recently decided that a long term care facility’s decision not to hire a male care aide was discriminatory.

The complainant was a 54-year-old recent graduate of a care aide program who twice applied for care aide vacancies at the facility. He met all of the necessary qualifications for the position and was interviewed, but not hired. The respondent testified that the complainant was not suitable for the position based on information it obtained in the complainant’s job interview and references.

When the position remained open, the complainant repeatedly contacted the employer to question why he was not hired. The employer perceived this conduct as harassment, and relied on it as the reason for not hiring him when he applied a second time a few months later. The employer had hired other care aides during the same time periods, all of whom were women with equal or lesser qualifications than the complainant.

The Tribunal concluded the respondent failed to establish a non-discriminatory reason for its refusal to hire the complainant. It found the employer’s conclusion that the complainant was aggressive, and thus unsuitable for hire, was unreasonable and based on stereotypical gender-related assumptions about his reasons for calling.

On finding that the complainant was the victim of gender discrimination, the Tribunal awarded him nearly $12,000 in damages for injury to dignity, lost wages and travel expenses.

(Click here for copy of Decision)