# 2016-053 - Discrimination


Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–04–25

All members of the grievor's troop were advised that, although it was acceptable to wear a t-shirt in the work area, they had to wear a combat jacket when traversing the hallways of the building. Even though there was a men's urinal within the work area, the male and female washrooms were located down the hall. The grievor claimed that the new dress direction was discriminatory based on gender. In her view, the female washroom facilities were at a lower standard than the men's given the urinal within the work area. She requested that the dress direction be amended to allow females to use the washroom without having to put on a combat jacket.

The initial authority (IA) denied the grievance. He stated that Department of National Defence General Safety policy requires that washrooms be provided within 60 meters from a workplace, which was being followed in the present case. The IA noted that the dress order instructed all personnel to ensure they were in a proper state of dress while walking the hallways, adding that worksites cannot be selected based on proximity to washrooms. He submitted that the urinal in the work area was based on the age of the building, and did not address all the needs for males, who would also be required to wear a combat jacket to walk to the male washroom. The IA found that the consideration of washroom proximity and dress policy did not create discrimination.

To determine whether there was discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, the grievor had to show that she had a characteristic protected from discrimination, that she experienced an adverse impact with respect to employment and that the protected characteristic was a factor in the adverse impact.

The Committee noted that the dress direction applied to all CAF members located within the building, no matter their gender. The Committee also stated that all military members, irrespective of gender, must wear a combat jacket to access complete toilet facilities, which were located within the regulatory distance. The Committee failed to see how having to wear a combat jacket adversely differentiated the grievor from her colleagues.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

FA Decision Summary

The Committee had to determine whether the grievor was subjected to discrimination on the basis gender, due to direction given by her chain of command with respect to appropriate dress in her workplace. The FA agreed with the Committee's finding that the grievor did not establish a prima facie case of discrimination. Consequently, the FA agreed with the Committee's recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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