Ottawa Valley Cleaning and Restoration fined because it wants to give jobs to white people only
TORONTO — The Canadian Press
An Ottawa-area company discriminated against a foreign-born job applicant by telling him it “only hires white men” in a series of “abusive” text messages, Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.
It ordered Ottawa Valley Cleaning and Restoration to pay $8,000 plus interest to Malek Bouraoui – who was denied employment in June, 2013 – saying it found “multiple violations” of his rights under the Human Rights Code.
“The respondent persistently ridiculed the applicant because of his race, colour and place of origin,” the tribunal said in its decision last week.
“I am satisfied that the applicant was deeply hurt, shocked and humiliated by the respondent’s comments and that he was denied employment based on a number of prohibited grounds.”
After applying for a job, Mr. Bouraoui said he received a call from a man named Jesse, who asked what country he was from and whether he was white or black. Mr. Bouraoui, who is black, testified that he told the man that he was not from Canada, but was too shocked to answer the other question about his race.
A short time later, Mr. Bouraoui said he received a text message from Jesse, telling him to “try learning English you will have better luck I don’t hire foreners [sic] I keep the white man working.”
After Mr. Bouraoui texted back that the comments were discriminatory and he would file a complaint, he said he received another text message from Jesse:
“I didn’t say anything that is racist all I sad [sic] was I don’t hire foreners [sic] and I hire white men so stop texting me take it how ever you want if you text me again it will be hearasment [sic] and there is no law for what I said it’s called freedom of speech in Canada maybe you would know that if you were a Canadian good by [sic] stop wasting my time I run a business I don’t have for you get a life.”
Another text told Mr. Bouraoui “go file a complaint he will probably be a white man and he will probably laugh at you and tell you to go away.”
Ottawa Valley Cleaning and Restoration was not available for comment. A call to the company was answered by the voice mail of a man identifying himself as Jesse Simpson.