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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Guerrilla Gigs replacing Streetfest this summer in Revelstoke

Buy one of 30 tickets the Sunday before the Wednesday show

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway open to single-lane traffic west of Revelstoke due to flooding

The highway between Revelstoke and Golden is also open again

Mt. Revelstoke summit and back country closed to dogs permanently

Dogs allowed on-leash only in some other areas

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s Okanagan murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Kelowna neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Most Read