By The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a labour arbitrator — not a human rights adjudicator — should weigh a complaint from a unionized Manitoba health-care aide who alleged discrimination by her employer.
Linda Horrocks, who worked for Northern Regional Health Authority’s personal care home in Flin Flon, Man., suffered from alcohol dependence, which the health authority agreed was a disability protected by both a collective agreement and Manitoba’s Human Rights Code.
When the health authority fired Horrocks in 2012 over alleged drinking, she filed a complaint under the human rights code, not a grievance pursuant to the collective agreement.
An adjudicator appointed under the rights code concluded the health authority had breached the discrimination provisions of the code, given Horrocks’ alcohol dependence disability.
A reviewing judge subsequently ruled the matter fell within the sole jurisdiction of a labour arbitrator, but the case then went to the provincial Court of Appeal.
The appeal court sent the matter back to the reviewing judge to determine whether the decision of the adjudicator and the remedies she ordered were reasonable in law.