A very interest case to come recently is Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods Inc.
2013 ONSC 5799. http://canlii.ca/t/g0nkm
The Ontario Supreme Court exercised its jurisdiction under the Ontario Human Rights Code
to award human rights damages in a wrongful dismissal action. After a back injury the employee was terminated after she requested a gradual return to work. Instead she was terminated. The Court held that the termination of employment was due in whole or in part to Ms. Wilson’s back injury and awarded $20,000.00 for discrimination on the basis of disability. It is interesting and unique because section 46.1 of the Ontario Code provides that a Court in a civil proceeding may make an award with respect to the breach of the person’s human rights. In that regard it does make sense and it all seems perfectly reasonable, but it does demonstrate a further evolution away from the decision in Honda Canada v. Keays
of the Supreme Court of Canada. It is a decision that does not make any practical sense with respect to this area of the law. One can only hope that the Alberta Courts will follow suite and/or the Alberta legislature would also see the merit in distancing itself from the principals set out in Honda Canada v. Keays.
As stated before in an earlier post, the Supreme Court of Canada decision was likely correct at law, but not terribly practical for the modern funding of human rights commissions. Surely it could have found a way to allow more crossover between human rights and employment law.