Not Letting Worker Return to Work after Back Injury Was Discrimination

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A worker injured his back on the job and was out of work for six days. When he was ready to return, the company wouldn’t let him. When the worker told his supervisor that he might have mild scoliosis, the supervisor told him that because of the likelihood he would re-injure his back, “they were going to have to let him go.” So the worker claimed he was discriminated against based on a perceived disability, that is, a weak back. The Human Rights Tribunal agreed. The Tribunal didn’t buy the company’s excuses for letting the worker go and noted that there was no evidence that letting him return to work would have been an undue hardship. It ordered the company to pay him $8,000 in damages, $1,600 in lost wages and $475 in expenses [Cartwright v. Rona, [2011] BCHRT 65 (CanLII), March 17, 2011].