Human Rights Advisory Services

Human Rights Advisory Services
Human Rights Advisory Services

CB v Emergency

In CB v Emergency and Health Service Commission (2008), the complainant was a paramedic  in Vancouver. Paramedics work in teams of two, taking turns attending to patients and driving the ambulance.  When CB was diagnosed with epilepsy, he lost his Class 4 drivers' licence and was therefore unable to drive ambulances. The employer accommodated him by allowing him to attend to patients without having to drive the ambulance. When he reached full-time status, he applied for lateral transfers, as well as several promotions, in more desirable locations. The employer was only able to offer him one lateral transfer, to Victoria, due to difficulties in finding a post which could accommodate a paramedic who could not drive. After researching the cost of living in Victoria, CB decided that this would not be a suitable move for his family. When the employer failed to offer him anything else, he filed a grievance claiming discrimination on the basis of disability. 

The Tribunal found that CB established prima facie discrimination because he established that

a) he had a disability, that  

b) he suffered adverse treatment, and that

 c) his disability was the cause of the adverse treatment.

 However, it then determined that the employer had accommodated CB to the point of undue hardship.  This decision was in part informed by :

1) the complainant's decisions and conduct; he had been offered a reasonable accommodation (the position in Victoria) but had refused to engage in it based on personal lifestyle choices.

2) the consequences of the discrimination (not being transferred to a more desirable location) were not severe, compared to other discrimination cases where employees lose their jobs, their salaries, or their full-time status due to disability.