Reader Mail: The Human Rights Commission – yours to use and abuse

Blazingcatfur gets some interesting mail. Here a citizen relates a tale of wilful harassment against he and his business by a less than honourable HRC complainant.

NB: As the case is still before the tribunal all names and the HRC with which the complaint has been filed have been removed to protect the innocent.

I have been holding off on sending this out to the blogosphere since my battle with the HRC is still ongoing (albeit I think we are close to being “acquitted”). I was named in a HRC complaint filed by a former employee this year. The basis of this claim was “wrongful dismissal by means of discrimination on the basis of aparent sexual orientation”. The employee in question only worked for my business for under 2 weeks and was an absolutely HORRIBLE employee. His last day of work I had a meeting with the employee in question telling him I would have to let him go if he didn’t clean up his act and bad behaviors. He left that day and did not show up for work the next morning. Pretty simple right? So I terminated him and he ended up coming in at the end of that day demanding his final pay check. Once again pretty simple right? In his mind he quit because I hadn’t even told him I had terminated him at that point.

Fast forward 3+ months later. I get a thick envelope in the mail from the HRC with a complaint from the employee in question claiming the discrimination. Now to the juicy parts. He claims that a co-worker had made a remark to him regarding a dinner date he had brought up. Allegedly the co-worker jokingly asked “oh yeah what’s his name?”. The employee now claimed to be terribly offended by the remark (which was never reported to me at the time as per our non discrimination policy). The employee then went on to claim that he had received an e-mail from me berating him and telling him to “get out of the closet” which is a total fabrication ( I barely knew the employee in question). The complaintant claimed to be scarred for life and wanted a sizable cash penalty for his “overwhelming mental anguish and stress”. Sounds like a pretty good claim for a complaint on the surface but let’s dig a little deeper.

The employee in question was terminated within 2 weeks of his start date (well within the 90 day probationary period as set forth by the ESA), was consistantly late for work (as was proven by his signed and dated time cards), had been caught lying regarding a doctors appointment he needed to leave for (was a job interview with another company), was disruptive around other employees drawing complaints from no less than 3 co-workers for bothering them and the list goes on and on. So it seems that the complaintant might have filed the complaint in retaliation for being called out on his bad behavior.

This was all spelled out in the response to the HRC. Of course the HRC pushes us to attend mediation before they will even look at the complaint (which we requested to be dismissed) so we head off to the mediation on the scheduled day. I arrive promptly at the required time and the complaintant is not there. I await his arrival with the mediator for 30 minutes and he still does not arrive. I do have to give credit to the mediator as a level headed and very professional man. He related to me that the complaintant had filed the complaint and then moved – not providing any updated contact info or ever contacting the HRC again. He then related to me that unlike a court where if you don’t follow up on a complaint you bring it would be dismissed he was compelled to play private detective and try and find the complaintant until all avenues are exhausted – only then could the file be closed.

He finally was able to reach the complaintant 3 days before the mediation and the complaintant asured him that he would be in attendance. Of course he didn’t show up so the mediator began attempting to contact him at his new numbers. He called the complaintants work number and low and behold was informed that the complaintant was scheduled to begin at 1 pm that day. The mediation was to begin at 10 am and was scheduled for 5 hours. It was obvious that the complaintant had no intention to show up and was just intentionally wasting my time to harass me. The mediator acknowledged this and was very angry with the complaintant and his inability to just dismiss the complaint right then and there.

Since that mediation I have heard nothing from the HRC so I decided to “google” the complaintant’s name to see what would come up. I was amazed to find one single solitary hit. It was a message on a public message area of the website Facebook (please see attached screen capture – all info but his message redacted). In the message, the complaintant was angry with a message someone else had posted and responded with “Hey XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX (name redacted) you a fag and a peace of shit”. Kind of a strange comment to be posted by someone who would be offended so easily don’t you think? I am quite frankly amazed that the complaintant would be so stupid to post something like that on a public message board that contains not only his name but his photograph as well! Not to mention that the location and internet provider could easily be tracked down from where the comment was posted.

So I called the mediator to see where we were at and he apparently has still received no response from the complaintant since the mediation hearing despite calling him repeatedly. I informed him of the new information I had found and he chuckled and told me he wasn’t surprised. Apparently in his quest to track down the compliantanty he had spoken with the complaintants last room mates and the complaintant had apparentlt stiffed them for a sizable amount of money when he moved out.

I have spent a minimum of 50-60 hours of my time preparing my response, gathering his employment information and attending a mediation he didn’t show up for (not to mention the overwhelming stress of having this government body prosecuting me) and this is the kind of person that is allowed to file frivilous complaints. How much of my time and energy has been wasted by this individual over this? Best of all there is no mechanism to punish this individual for doing what he has done and no mechanism to compensate me for my time and energy.

I thought someone in the fight against these crooked HRC’s would like to know the real stories of what is happening out there. If you care to blog about this e-mail please anonymize it as much as is possible by removing any reference of which HRC it is with and such. I would hate to have something screwy happen and have them come back at me.

Oh and just for shits and giggles – isn’t what the complainant posted on that message board technically a hate crime? I have high resolution screenshots of the message for proof.
….

The end.

Here’s the Facebook Screenshot:

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