Much to her surprise, the manager of the Tim Horton on Parc and Sherbrooke streets refused to hire her for an overnight shift because she had two young children.
“When he got off the phone, he came back to me and asked why I never told him I had kids,” Byrnes told Global News.
“[He said] ‘I can’t hire you now.'”
After trying and failing to convince him that her parenting responsibilities would not be an issue, Byrnes took her concerns to the Human Rights Commission.
The Commission saw merit in her case and demanded $10,000 in moral damages and $1,748 in lost wages from the company.
When Tim Hortons refused to negotiate, she took them to court.
Three and half years later, Byrnes is finally feeling vindicated for the slight.
This week, Tim Hortons agreed to settle out of court.
WATCH: A young mother is turning her life around after she told Global News in 2012 that she was refused employment by Tim Hortons, allegedly because she has children. Reporter Sarah Volstad met up with her in 2014.
Neither Byrnes not her lawyers at the Human Rights Commission could disclose the amount.
“It was was a victory for us. It’s a victory all around, not just mothers, but for parents in general,” said a visibly relieved Byrnes.
“Even a single father could be going for this as well. You’re a parent, single, your kids are at home at night, who’s going to to take care of them? It’s the exact same thing whether it’s a mother or father.”
The mother of two is thrilled with the outcome, but she is the first to admit, the process took a lot out of her.
“This was really tough. It was draining me, it took a lot of energy out of me and when we settled I cried,” said Byrnes.
“It was complete relief that it’s over, this chapter is over now.”
Byrnes has since moved to Brockville, Ontario to find work and is now in training for a management position at McDonald’s.
She said she is determined, now more than ever, to not let other parents face the same kind of discrimination.
“If they are applying for a job, it means they need a job to survive,” she insisted.
READ: The court document below
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