HALIFAX – An independent human rights board of inquiry has found a former employee of Nova Scotia’s Black Educators Association was discriminated against by the organization, which must pay her $11,000 in general damages and lost income.
Rachel Brothers claimed the association wrongfully fired her after only a year on the job as a regional educator because of discrimination based on age, race and colour.
Board of inquiry chairman Donald Murray says Brothers was undermined by association staff whose “colourist thinking” and behaviour created a toxic work environment at the head office in Halifax and at the regional office in Kentville where Brothers was employed.
Murray says colourist thinking suggests that access to jobs and opportunities will increase the closer a person’s skin tone is to white, while the potential for discrimination increases for those who are darker or visibly black.
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission CEO Tracey Williams says the decision addresses an important human rights issue.
Williams says the commission needs to study what is a sensitive subject in order to identify ways to help those who are affected.
Read the full decision below:
© The Canadian Press, 2014