Saturday, February 23, 2008

Behold The New Human Right

The "human rights commissions" seem to have parted with whatever remainder of common sense they used to have. Judging from their recent ruling, one now has a right to keep his job even if he doesn't show up to work.
A strange Human Rights Commission ruling in BC. Six employees of the private company that has the contract to run the buses for the Vancouver transit system have been re-instated to their jobs. They were initially fired because of chronic absenteeism. They weren't showing up for work. Taking too many sick days. Several hundred sick days a year. But the employees say they were discriminated against for missing too much work because they were actually chronically sick, disabled or injured. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal also told the Coast Mountain Bus Company it could no longer put employees with high absentee rates into its so-called "attendance management program." The tribunal awarded the workers a total of $33,000 in damages because, it said, the company's attendance program amounted to "systemic discrimination against those with chronic or recurring disabilities." No word yet on whether the company is going to appeal the ruling.
Not sure where all those "several hundred sick days a year" come from, since there are only 250 work days in a typical year. Apparently that refers to the total number of days off taken by those six employees, so each one of them must have been taking some 50 to 100 sick days a year. Which is still more than enough for one to start wondering whether or not he's fit for the job.

Logically speaking, if one doesn't have any health issues, he's expected to show up at workplace as scheduled. If however one is chronically sick or if his disability precludes him from holding a full-time job - then he'd rather apply for disability benefits or look for a different job where his chronic absenteeism won't disrupt his colleagues and his employer. That's common sense. But logic and common sense are no longer welcome in the HRCs.

HRCs were initially mandated to investigate and settle complaints of discrimination in employment. Well, we've just seen the way those guys understand "discrimination" nowadays. If you had any doubts about those "human rights commissions", the recent ruling is yet another proof of how irrelevant those commissions are.

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