News

Victoria Shipyards faces racism allegations

Victoria Shipyards will face a human rights tribunal hearing after a worker complained he faced racist remarks and actions while working.

Austin Francis, who is black, filed a discrimination complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in June 2009. He names the company and seven of its employees in his complaint.

Francis’ alleges various employees called him derogatory names, and that somebody left a white hood, designed to look like a KKK hood, on his bag while he was working.

On Jan. 21, the tribunal denied an application by Victoria Shipyards to dismiss the case. The company argued the allegations are a single, isolated incident, but tribunal member Tonie Beharrell disagreed.

“It continues to be clear that Mr. Francis is alleging more than one single instance of racial name-calling,” he wrote in his decision. “These disputes are best resolved at a hearing.”

A previous decision by the tribunal significantly reduced the scope of Francis’ complaint.

The upcoming hearing was scheduled to take place Feb. 14 but has been postponed with no new date set.

If the tribunal finds Francis’ discrimination charge is legitimate, it has the power to grant a number of different remedies as requested by the complainant.

The tribunal can order the respondent to stop discriminating or to adopt a program to fix the discrimination. The tribunal can also order the respondent to pay lost wages and pay compensation for injury to dignity. There is no upper limit for compensation, but the highest amount awarded to date is $35,000.

rholmen@vicnews.com

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Ducker challenges for mayor in Esquimalt
 
B.C. teachers endorse six-year deal, 86 per cent in favour (with VIDEO)
 
Decorate for charity: Festival of Trees
Amazing Grace to sail the Van Isle 360
 
Dateline Cowichan: Parents resist closure of two-room school
 
Crash near Split Rock closes Malahat for three hours
New works by Rick Bond
 
Holy Victoria: Hanukkah, a story of faith
 
Rasode declares mayoral run

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.