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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 respect.

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Media contact:
Helen Conway
Legal Counsel
Human Rights Commission
709-729-7416, 1-800-563-5808

2010 11 25                                                    10:05 a.m.

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