Former regional educator with the Black Educators’ Association, Rachel Brothers, has won a victory against her employer in the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, after a commission inquiry found she had been fired partly because she was “not black enough”.
Having filed a complaint against the BEA back in 2008 which alleged discrimination based on colour, race, age, as well as mental disability, Brothers has been awarded compensation by the Commission after it found she had been deliberately undermined racially by a colleague.
Brothers was employed by the BEA in 2006 as a regional educator, but was fired by the end of that calendar year following a number of issues in relation to her employment, including staff, management and financial problems within the region for which she was responsible.
However the Commission found that, while these issues ‘accumulated and festered’ during 2006, it was being undermined by a colleague - Catherine Collier – for being too young and being “not black enough” that eventually led to Brothers being fired by head office.
The Commission found that Collier had utilised her ‘political skills’ and ‘allies’ within the BEA’s head office to ‘induce’ management into believing Brothers was the cause of regional instability. In fact, it was Collier herself that was the cause of the problems in the region.
“Why was Ms Brothers dealt with so abruptly and so sharply?” the board of inquiry’s Donald C. Murray Q.C. asked in the Human Rights Commission’s recent judgement.
“I have concluded that, based on the evidence put before me during this Inquiry, Ms Brothers was terminated because she has been successfully undermined in her employment by one of her subordinates, Catherine Collier,” Murray wrote.
“It is clear to me that Ms Brothers was undermined in part because she was younger than, and not as black as, Ms Collier thought that Ms Brothers should be. As I will explain, the BEA’s termination was based in part on Ms Brothers’ skin colour. That constitutes discrimination against Ms Brothers under the Human Rights Act
The BEA has been ordered to fork out global compensation in the amount of $11,000 plus interest at 2.5%, calculated since March 28, 2013.