Fired Alcoholic Can’t Sue for Discrimination after Signing a Release


A 28-year worker fired for bringing a bottle of beer to work signed a release promising not to sue in exchange for 8 weeks’ severance and continuation of his RRSP benefits. Six months later, he changed his mind and sued for disability discrimination claiming that alcoholism made him incapable of understanding the release, he argued and that he was under duress and needed the money. But the Human Rights Tribunal was having none of it. There was no medical evidence that the worker was incapacitated or acting irrationally. He took 4 days to think it over. And when he did sign, he appeared cool, calm and collected, according to the witnesses [Venables v. Glen White Industries Ltd., 2017 HRTO 1220 (CanLII), Sept. 19, 2017].