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Case studies: Place of origin

Area: Employment
Ground: Place of origin and race
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A woman filed a complaint that her supervisor told jokes and made comments based on racial stereotypes.  She perceived that her supervisor discriminated against her because the jokes and comments were related to her race and place of origin.  The respondent maintained that an internal investigation in the workplace had determined that all staff, including the complainant, participated in telling jokes and making comments about the complainant's race.  A settlement was reached during conciliation.  The settlement included distributing educational material about the Human Rights Commission and about discrimination to the management and staff in the workplace.

Area: Employment
Ground: Place of origin and race
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A woman and her husband, both of African ancestry, complained that an employment agency discriminated against them based on their race and place or origin.  They alleged that, when they applied for jobs, they were told that their qualifications from another country were not acceptable in Canada.  No attempt was made to assess their qualifications.  The complainants stated that they were denied a position that was given to a Caucasian applicant who was much less qualified.

During conciliation, the agency denied the allegations but offered job-finding assistance to the couple.  When the couple stated that they were currently employed and therefore not in need of such assistance, the agency offered monetary compensation of approximately $600 for the perceived discrimination.  The woman and her husband accepted the compensation in resolution of their complaint.

Area: Employment
Ground: Place of origin, race, colour, ancestry  
Result: Dismissed 

A man of aboriginal ancestry filed a complaint against his employer, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry and place of origin.  He alleged a large number of discriminatory incidents culminating in his termination of employment.

Conciliation of this case was not successful, and an investigation was done.  The investigation determined that some of the allegations were a result of the complainant's lack of information and, in the other cases, there were reasonable non-discriminatory explanations for the employer's actions.  The complaint was dismissed, and the complainant did not appeal the dismissal.

Area: Services
Grounds: Place of origin and ancestry 
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation
A person of European ancestry complained of discrimination in the area of services. He alleged a local licensing body refused to recognize his qualifications from his home country, preventing him from practicing his trade in Alberta. The licensing authority denied the allegation and stated the person's performance in the provincial qualifying test was questionable and did not satisfy the organization. Through conciliation, the licensing body agreed to review its decision, resulting in its granting permission to the complainant to practice his trade in Alberta.

Revised: December 14, 2011


Our vision is a vibrant and inclusive Alberta where the rich diversity of people is celebrated and respected, and where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate in society, free from discrimination.