The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) has denied a request from the head of a corporate legal department to be reinstated in her job while her application alleging discrimination is considered.
In January, Baljit Kaura filed a request for an interim remedy with the HRTO. She asked to be reinstated in her role as head of legal and compliance, and chief compliance officer, of PIMCO Canada Corp. Kaura had earlier filed an application alleging discrimination with respect to employment based on sex, gender expression, and reprisal.
In the request, Kaura, who represented herself, stated she “had a prominent profile in the legal and compliance community” and said she would “suffer loss of reputation and credibility in the industry if she is not reinstated.”
Kaura submitted that, unless she’s reinstated on an interim basis, she will be out of touch with regulatory reforms in the industry and with PIMCO Canada’s legal and compliance needs. This would make it more difficult to resume her duties at a later time, and that it would be more difficult for her and the company to have a smooth reinstatement.
In her main application of discrimination, Kaura alleges she suffered “discrimination and reprisals.” She was not promoted and was eventually terminated, after raising concerns to her supervisor that some employees were making negative comments and expressing negative stereotypes about women.
Onus on Applicant
The tribunal’s power to order a respondent in a case to take a particular action is usually dependent upon a finding that the respondent has violated the Human Rights Code. Interim remedies are considered “extraordinary.” in that they constitute an order in the absence of a finding that the Code has been violated. The onus is on the applicant, to prove the interim remedy should be awarded.
Adjudicator Douglas Sanderson denied Kaura’s request. “The tribunal appreciates that there are likely negative impacts on the applicant from the loss of her employment,” the adjudicator found.
“Whether or not the actions of the respondent were discriminatory, the effects of losses in income, status and self-esteem following a dismissal are not to be minimized. However, the applicant’s circumstances pending the hearing of her application are similar to those faced by many applicants who allege a discriminatory termination of employment.”
The decision is: Kaura v. Pacific Investment Management Company (LLC) – PIMCO LLC, 2014 HRTO 98 (CanLII)
Human rights in civil claims — a legal first