B.C. Human Rights Tribunal orders company to pay woman fired for being pregnant.
Vancouver (22 Aug. 2012) - A woman who was fired after disclosing to her boss that she was pregnant has received an $11,000 settlement from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Pauline Kooner-Rilcof was employed as Vice-president Sales for Western Canada for BNA Smart Payment Systems Ltd. She enjoyed praise and a major promotion from when she started in 2009 until she was terminated in September 2010, one day after informing her boss of her pregnancy.
The company president explained that he had already resolved to fire her two weeks before she was told but wanted to tell her in person. When that became too difficult to organize, he told her over the telephone. He asserted her pregnancy had nothing to do with her firing.
The Tribunal found in favour of the complainant especially since the company could provide no evidence to support its position on Kooner-Rilcof's termination, and in light of the evidence of her more than satisfactory performance.
Yet, the Tribunal only awarded Kooner-Rilcof a portion of what she was asking for: $3,125 for two more weeks of salary and commissions, as well as $8,000 to cover "injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect."
Since the complainant had forgone job offers because there was no indication of job insecurity at the company, she was seeking four months gross salary and commission and medical and dental payments amounting to $27,160 plus $22,250 in general damages for injury to dignity and mental distress and legal fees.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE