Canadian Human Rights Commission must revisit complaint by man who says he was denied promotion because he is straight, court rules

by Laura Mize · Dec 11th, 2019 12:19 pm

Justice Janice Fuhrer of the Federal Court of Canada has ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Commission must reassess a complaint filed by Aaren Jagadeesh against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Jagadeesh filed a complaint with the commission in April 2017 about his treatment at CIBC in Toronto, alleging discrimination over sexual orientation and disability. Jagadeesh alleges that a manager told him that he would not be considered for promotion unless he was part of a group of gay and bisexual men at the Toronto office.

Jagadeesh further alleges the bank refused to grant him medical breaks prescribed by a doctor to help him recover from a voice disorder brought on by constant phone calls to customers. He said that the medical accommodations were denied as part of the discrimination against him because of his sexual orientation.

The bank reduced Jagadeesh's pay and benefits, and ultimately fired him in May 2016. When he filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, an investigator interviewed CIBC personnel but did not speak with the manager Jagadeesh had pinpointed. In November 2018, Jagadeesh's complaint was dismissed with no finding of wrongdoing on the bank's part.

Jagadeesh then appealed the ruling to the Federal Court, which released its ruling this November. Fuhrer stipulated the commission must assign a new investigator to the case, saying the initial investigation was not thorough. CIBC maintains that it does not tolerate any form of harassment or discrimination.