# 2014-001 - Accommodation, Course Failure, Harassment, Progress Review Board (PRB)

Accommodation, Course Failure, Harassment, Progress Review Board (PRB)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–06–27

The grievor complained that he was improperly denied kosher food while attending training at a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Base, and that he was treated inappropriately when he raised his concerns to the attention of the training staff. As redress, he sought an apology, qualification for the course he failed to complete, a commitment that a similar event would not happen again, and a retroactive promotion and pay.

The Initial Authority refused to adjudicate, finding that the grievance was submitted beyond the six-month time limit and that the reasons provided by the grievor were not sufficient justification for the late submission.

The Committee noted that the CAF policy with respect to religious accommodations should be interpreted in the context of the CAF's obligations under Canadian human rights law. The Committee found that the direction in the CAF Food Services Manual was not followed by the Base authorities and that the standards of “undue hardship” and “reasonable efforts” were not met in this case.

The Committee also found that some of the allegations of mistreatment made by the grievor in his complaint met the definition of harassment as provided by the Harassment Prevention and Resolution Guidelines (the Guidelines) and that, although a disciplinary investigation was done, it was not an appropriate means of investigating harassment allegations. Therefore, the Committee recommended that a proper situational assessment and investigation be completed in accordance with the Guidelines.

The Committee found that the grievor could not be granted his course qualification as he did not finish the course. However, it was noted that if his allegations were to be deemed ‘founded' following an investigation, then he should be given priority for recourse.

Finally, the Committee observed that it was apparent that some CAF members did not have a clear understanding of the requirement to accommodate a legitimate religious requirement to the point of “undue hardship”. Therefore, it was recommended that it would be worthwhile to remind CAF personnel within food services as well as the CAF training schools of their duty to accommodate.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–12

The CDS agreed with the Committee's recommendation that the grievance be partially upheld, but he did not endorsed completely all the remedies. The CDS agreed with the Committee's finding that the grievor's allegations meet the definition of harassment, but due to the passage of time, he deviated from the Committee's recommendation that a investigation be directed. The CDS gave the grievor the opportunity to complete the required training and associated validation process for the course in question. He also agreed with the recommendation that the grievor be reimbursed for the meal supplements, but instead of forwarding the file to Director Human Rights and Diversity, he approved the reimbursement of 10 days of meals under Compensation Benefits Instructions 210.83(2).

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