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2014 PSST 17
Abuse of authority; discrimination; disability; timing of assessment test.
The complainant was screened out of an internal advertised appointment process because she did not pass a written assessment test. She alleged that the respondent abused its authority by discriminating against her in failing to accommodate her disability and by pressuring her to write the test before she was able to do so.
The Tribunal noted that for it to find a prima facie case of discrimination, the complainant would first have to establish that she had a disability at the time in question. The evidence showed that the complainant was under a lot of stress since her spouse had recently passed away following a serious illness. However, the complainant did not demonstrate that she had a disability within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act when she wrote the test. Consequently, she did not establish a prima facie case of discrimination.
With respect to the timing of the test, the complainant was given a one month extension to write the test after her husband passed away. The evidence showed that the pressure she felt was from her impressions of how her colleagues would react if she were granted an additional extension. This pressure could not be attributed to the respondent. The complainant therefore did not demonstrate that the respondent abused its authority by improperly pressuring her to write the test on the assigned date.