Human rights complaint against Shuswap grocer dismissed

Former Food Network competitor was scheduled to work on her Sabbath

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against a Shuswap woman who alleged she was the victim of discrimination based on her religious beliefs while working at the Sicamous Askew’s Foods location.

According to tribunals ruling, released on Feb. 20, Janet Letendre, alleged that while she was employed at the Sicamous Askew’s grocery store as a bakery employee in 2018, she was scheduled to work shifts on Saturday which, as a Seventh-Day Adventist, she recognizes as her Sabbath.

The BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT) concluded that Letendre’s case would not succeed if it proceeded to a hearing.

Letendre, who was a competitor in the recent Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network, declined to comment on the decision and Askew’s management didn’t respond to an interview request before press time.

The Tribunal operates based on the BC Human Rights Code. The code specifies that employers must not discriminate against people regarding employment or any term of employment because of religion, along with a number of other elements of a person’s identity.

Read More: Malakwa woman still in the running for winning American baking show

Read More: UPDATE: CP Rail blockade near Chase removed, hereditary chief arrested

Read More: UPDATE: Two killed in collision, fire near Three Valley Gap

The key events in the dispute over working the Saturday shifts took place in June 2018. The BCHRT decision states Letendre was scheduled to work on two consecutive Saturdays. It says conflicting evidence was presented as to whether Letendre agreed to work the Saturday shifts or if she was made to.

The decision states the evidence is sufficient for the tribunal to conclude that Askew’s would be able to establish in a hearing that scheduling Letendre to work the Saturday shifts was rationally connected to the performance of her job and the scheduling was done in good faith. It adds that Askew’s believed scheduling Letendre on Saturday was necessary to fulfill a work-related purpose.

“The affidavit and documentary evidence indicate, and Ms. Letendre does not appear to dispute, that when she started working at Askew’s, she told her employer that although Saturdays are her Sabbath, she was willing to work them when needed. It indicates that during the course of her employment, Ms. Letendre worked the occasional Saturday and sometimes worked two Saturdays in one month,” the BCHRT decision reads.

Read More: Shuswap animal sanctuary seeks to fit frostbitten baby goat with prosthetic leg

Read More: Stanley Cup returning to Salmon Arm after 15 years

The decision notes Letendre did not have to work another Saturday after the second shift in June 2018 until her employment at Askew’s came to an end.

In the conclusion, the 12-page ruling, tribunal member Beverly Froese states that the complaint is dismissed in its entirety. The dismissal is based on section 27 (1) (c) of the Human Rights Code. Section 27 (1) (c) states that complaints can be dismissed if there is no reasonable prospect that they will succeed in a hearing.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Sicamous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery’s spirits that would have become whisky or gin is now being denatured to make hand sanitizer

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

Most Read