In 2010, Mr. Skinner was involved in a motor vehicle accident while working, and subsequently developed a physical and mental disability. After exhausting conventional drug options to treat his symptoms, Mr. Skinner’s physician prescribed medical marijuana. The medication provided him with some relief from his chronic pain and improved functionality. Mr. Skinner requested coverage for the medical marijuana under the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Plan (“Plan”), a private benefit plan designed to provide health and related benefits to union employees in the elevator industry.
The Plan’s Trustees denied the request on the basis that: (i) medical marijuana did not … Continue Reading
A recent decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) serves as a useful reminder of the utility of a reasonable settlement offer, which can result in the Tribunal putting an end to complaint proceedings without a hearing. In Sebastian v. Vancouver Coastal Health and others (No. 3), 2017 BCHRT 1, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (“VCH”) made a reasonable settlement offer and succeeded in having a human rights complaint filed by a litigious employee dismissed by the Tribunal under section 27(1)(d)(ii) of the Human Rights Code, thereby avoiding a 15-day hearing.
Joseph Sebastian is an employee … Continue Reading
Following our previous post on the British Columbia government’s bill to amend the Human Rights Code [Code] earlier this year, the bill recently received royal assent and “gender identity and gender expression” are now expressly included in the Code as protected grounds.
Though the meaning and application of these new protected grounds will need to be fleshed out by Tribunal and court decisions, the Tribunal’s website now provides the following descriptions:
Gender Expression: Gender expression is how a person presents their gender. This can include behaviour and appearance, including dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. This … Continue Reading