KPA Lawyers – September 20, 2019
On June 6th, 2019, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) summarily dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mississauga resident, Kirstena Naidu, against the Mississauga Cricket League.
Naidu alleged that she had been discriminated on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, sexual solicitation and advances, with respect to membership in the vocational association. In her Application she alleged that the discrimination was initially in an official email correspondence to which she was copied on from her organization, the Ontario Cricket Development Organization (“OCDO”) to the Mississauga Cricket League.
The applicant alleged that on April 6th, 2018, a male individual wrote in an email to which she and community partners and City of Mississauga staff were copied, the following: “Hi Derek, I hope you’re doing well along with brilliant Davy and beautiful Tina.”
She alleged this comment was not welcome and not appreciated. She alleged that the conduct was demeaning, belittling, and amounted to sexual objectification as it referred to her based on physical characteristics.
After the email, the same male individual left a comment on Facebook “simply beautiful” in response to a post she wrote regarding women’s empowerment. She believed the context in which he addressed her in the official emails with the City of Mississauga made this comment questionable and unwelcome.
“Even if I accept the facts put forward by the applicant as true and provable, I must find that the Application stands no reasonable prospect of success under the [Human Rights] Code. The Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to deal with allegations of general unfairness” wrote Vandana Patel, a vice-chair of the Tribunal who adjudicated the hearing.
The adjudicator went on to explain, in her reasons, that “I find that there is no reasonable prospect of success for the applicant’s allegations of harassment. The Code only protects harassment because of sex in accommodation and in the workplace. The applicant has not alleged harassment because of sex in accommodation or in the workplace. Rather, the applicant has alleged harassment for membership in a vocational association.”