This is the sixth vignette in a series celebrating our union victories.
In a matter of blatant age discrimination by the employer, Diane Legros, who worked for CBSA, sought to alternate with another employee to benefit from a Transition Support Measure. Alternation occurs in a Workforce Adjustment Situation when an employee switches with a person in an ‘opting’ position who wishes to remain in the public service, ‘alternating’ into this job and leaving the public service with a financial payout.
Legros’ request was refused: She was 62 and her manager expected Legros would likely retire soon, at which time her postion could be eliminated. With the support of the union, Sister Legros challenged the manager‘s position, and grieved – twice. The manager persisted, and Legros’ case eventually went to adjudication. It was found that her age was indeed a factor in the employer’s decision to deny her alternation – a clear-cut example of discrimination.
Ultimately, the employer faced consequences for violating the Canadian Human Rights Act: The adjudicator awarded Legros with $10,000 in damages for “willful and reckless discrimination”, as well as $15,000 for “significant pain and suffering”. The ‘Legros Decision’ thus helped reinforce the protections that benefit all our members, illustrating once more that labour rights are fought for and not given.
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