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Nov Advocate 2017

864 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 6 N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE For more information about Plus TC&D or to purchase your subscription, please call CLEBC customer service at 604-893-2121 or visit <www.cle. bc.ca> today. HUMAN RIGHTS LAW CONFERENCE 2017 CLEBC is proud to present Human Rights Law Conference 2017. Join us on November 30 and December 1, 2017 to learn about current and emerging topics in human rights law. This year’s featured speaker is Matt Eisenbrandt, special consultant to Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman; he will be discussing the recent Nevsun and Tahoe cases. Both cases address the cutting-edge issues of responsibility and liability of B.C. companies for violations occurring in their overseas operations, and whether B.C. or the overseas location is the appropriate forum for hearing such cases. Human Rights Conference 2017 will also include exploration of the landmark Schrenk case, which is under reserve at the Supreme Court of Canada at the time this article is being written. Mr. Schrenk was a foreman on a construction project. He was employed by a construction company called Clemas Contracting Ltd. (“Clemas”). The complainant, Mr. Sheikhzadeh-Mashgoul, worked on the project as representative of an engineering firm. While working on-site, Mr. Schrenk made derogatory comments to the complainant based on religious affiliation, place of origin and sexual orientation. The complainant filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) alleging discrimination with respect to employment. The complainant also alleged the conduct was permitted or tolerated by Clemas. Both Mr. Schrenk and Clemas argued that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction over the complaint on the basis that the complainant did not have an employment relationship with either of them. The Tribunal rejected this argument and found that discrimination suffered “regarding employment” can attract protection of the B.C. Human Rights Code, and that the Code should not be narrowly construed to apply only to traditional employee–employer relationships. The B.C. Court of Appeal held that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction over the complaint because Mr. Schrenk and Clemas did not exercise power or control over the complainant’s employment. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision will define whether protection from workplace discrimination applies only where the wrongdoer is someone with control over the complainant and the complainant’s employment.


Nov Advocate 2017
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