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Tribunal dismisses complaint over lunchroom clean up duties
October 31, 2005

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed a complaint on the basis that hearing the matter would not further the purposes of the B.C. Human Rights Code.

The issue was whether the employer breached the Code by assigning lunchroom cleanup duties exclusively to female employees. The duties consisted of 5 to 10 minutes of light tidying in the employee lunchroom each day. All employees were expected to perform the duties, but at the time of the complaint, only women had been scheduled.

The Tribunal noted the employer’s schedule was intended to be gender neutral, and the cleaning duties were not substantial or demeaning. Further, the employer had changed the schedule to ensure both men and women were assigned clean up duties.

The Tribunal relied on s. 27(1)(d)(ii) of the Code, which permits dismissal of a complaint where proceeding with it would not benefit the complainant or further the purposes of the Code. Weighing the nature of the complaint against the policy interest in efficiency, responsiveness, expense and time, the Tribunal held that it would neither further the objectives of the Code nor be in the public interest to expend resources hearing the claim.

Tillis v. Pacific Western Brewing and Komatsu, 2005 BCHRT 433