Pannu V. Skeena Cellulose Case Study

Topics: Human rights, Law, Occupational safety and health / Pages: 5 (1105 words) / Published: Feb 22nd, 2016
The Ontario Human Rights Code is responsible for many maintaining many justices when it comes to the quality of care a person is required to received in the workplace. The code has the ability to allow and disallow certain charges based on discrimination due to the nature of the job. As these following cases will illustrate, the Human Rights Code is not a piece of legislation that favors neither the individual nor the employer. These cases show how the Human Rights code is used to protect against discrimination in relation the health and safety, with special consideration on who is and is not eligible for compensation. Grounds such as bona fide occupational qualifications and disabilities will be taken into consideration to help explore the …show more content…
Skeena Cellulose, 2000 BCHRT 56 , the complainant Darshan Pannu, was a Recaust Operator in a pulp mill, which was operated by the defendant Skeena Cellulose. His job required the use of a self-contained breathing apparatus, upon discovery of a gas leakage, where Mr. Pannu was responsible to stay behind while confirming all other employees have been evacuated first. This was a regulation of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Set regulation also included that any wearer of the Self-contained breathing apparatus must be clean-shaven due to the fact that facial hair prevented the facemask from properly sealing to the wearers face, thus interfering with proper function. Mr. Pannu is a Sikh, and his religion requires him to wear a beard as a tenet of his faith. Upon an emergency evacuation Mr. Pannu was in charge of a shut down due to a gas leak, since his bread was against the regulations of the Workers’ Compensation Board, his job was terminated. This resulted in Mr. Pannu finagling a complaint under the Human Rights Code for discrimination based on religion. This case brought about the questions of whether or not the regulations of the breathing apparatus were a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ), or grounds for a discrimination case. It is quite clear due to health and safety requirements, and the nature of the job that the employer would face much harsher repercussion from allowing Mr. Pannu, or anyone with facial hair, to obtain set job position. The exposed to poisonous gas, from lack of proper use of a breathing apparatus could easily result in long term medical conditions, which in turn would be a much greater strain on the employer and the employee for that matter, creating undue hardship for the employer. Therefore this claim of discrimination was dismissed due to the health and safety issues by nature of the job

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