November 25, 2010
The following is being distributed at the request of
the Human Rights Commission:
Human Rights Commission Comments on
Decision of Adjudicator
The Human Rights Commission comments upon the November
15, 2010 decision of Cillian D. Sheahan, Adjudicator of the Board of
Inquiry in the human rights complaint of Brenda Chidley v. Clowe�s
Ambulance Service. Mr. Sheahan concluded that Clowe�s Ambulance Service
discriminated against Ms. Chidley when they failed to hire her for the
position of ambulance driver based on the fact that she was a female
contrary to section 9 of the Human Rights Code (currently section
14 of the Human Rights Act).
Ms. Chidley applied for an ambulance worker position
which was advertised by Clowe�s Ambulance Service. She was qualified for
the position as she held an EMR II classification together with a Class
IV driver�s licence. This classification enabled Ms. Chidley to drive
the ambulance and to act as an ambulance attendant to assist paramedics
during the transport of a patient. In response to the job advertisement
she telephoned the employer, expressing an interest and an intention to
apply for the position. Although the employer attempted to dissuade her
from sending a resume, she later submitted an application anyway. Ms.
Chidley was never contacted for an interview. Shortly thereafter,
Clowe�s Ambulance Service hired a less qualified male for the job.
Mr. Sheahan found that the Commission established a
prima facie case of discrimination on the basis of gender. The
adjudicator noted that once a prima facie case of discrimination was
established, the burden of proof shifted to Clowe�s Ambulance Service to
provide credible, non-discriminatory reasons for the failure to hire Ms.
Chidley. After a review of the evidence, Mr. Sheahan was unable to
conclude that Clowe�s Ambulance Service discharged its burden.
Accordingly, Mr. Sheahan found that Ms. Chidley�s
complaint to the Commission was well founded and concluded that she was
discriminated by Clowe�s Ambulance Service when they failed to hire her
for the position of ambulance driver based significantly upon, if not
only, the fact that she was a female contrary to section 14 of the
Human Rights Act.
Mr. Sheahan ruled that Ms. Chidley was entitled to
$7,000.00 in general damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self
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