Employees in Alberta often have questions about their legal rights. Although victims of discrimination in the workplace have protections under employment and human rights laws, how they choose to fight for their rights is essential. The avenue chosen will depend on the outcome they wish to achieve.
The first option is to file a contract claim for wrongful dismissal or another violation of the employment contract or to file a tort claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Only financial damages can be sought in a tort claim. The plaintiff can claim compensation in lieu of notice and aggravated damages if there is proof that the manner in which the plaintiff was terminated caused mental distress.
In extreme cases, the plaintiff might seek punitive damages for an employer’s harmful behaviour. If the plaintiff seeks an apology and changes to the employer’s discrimination policy along with monetary compensation, a tort claim is not the way to go. If the plaintiff is a union worker, these demands and reinstatement can be pursued through the union under its collective agreement. Another option is to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission for consideration, based on the facts of the case.
Choosing the best way to pursue a claim that involves discrimination is vital. It makes sense to consult a lawyer who has extensive experience in navigating employment law issues. An Alberta lawyer whose skills cover tort law, dealing with labour unions and human rights claims can assess the circumstances and advise the best way to proceed. Legal counsel can then advocate for the plaintiff in pursuit of the best possible outcome.