B.C. tribunal tosses human rights complaint over garlic, onion and latex balloon allergies

Lengthy dispute ends with rejection for Burnaby employee

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has again rejected a woman’s complaint that her employer discriminated against her by not accommodating her allergies to garlic, onions and latex balloons.

Tracy Klewchuk has worked for the City of Burnaby for more than 25 years, according to tribunal documents published this month online. This includes working at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre and the Kensington Complex.

But in 2007 or 2008 Klewchuk said she told her employer that she was allergic to latex balloons and asked they stop using them at the rec centre.

Klewchuk claimed that between 2008 and 2018 she was repeatedly exposed to latex, garlic and onions, despite her allergies. Instead of replacing the balloons, management “simply schedule her for shifts where there would be no balloons on site,” resulting in her losing work hours.

She also claimed that she was given a poor performance review “in retaliation for her complaints of discrimination.”

Both rec centres stopped using latex balloons in 2016, according to tribunal documents from 2018.

The city has denied the allegations and in late 2018 applied for the tribunal to order Klewchuk to disclose more information to back her claims, including when she told her supervisors about her allergies as well as when and where she was exposed to latex, garlic or onions while at work.

Seventeen different applications were filed between the Klewchuk and the city as tribunal member Devyn Cousineau worked to gather necessary information to make a ruling on the dispute.

But in April last year, Cousineau dismissed the case, ruling that Klewchuk had “failed to particularize a number of her allegations.”

ALSO READ: $12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Klewchuk asked the tribunal to reconsider Cousineau’s decision earlier this month, arguing that she didn’t have all the documents she needed from the city in order to argue her case fairly.

In her final decision, Cousineau said that tribunal decisions are typically considered final, and it would be “manifestly unfair” to allow Klewchuk to re-argue the same issues.

“In my view, Ms. Klewchuk has not identified how any interests of justice or fairness could justify reopening the decision in hopes of achieving a different result,” Cousineau wrote. “In contrast, I am satisfied that doing so would significantly compromise the fairness and efficiency of this process.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Young Burns Lake resident launches career

A young Burns Lake resident—very young—has launched his own book writing career.… Continue reading

Swiss trip first of many planned by local biathlon skier

Cole Bender credits father for his competitive development

Regional district director to continue the work of his father

Chris Newell now represents the Houston/Granisle rural area

Pipeline workers increase demand for local services

Approximately 120 workers staying in local accommodations

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read