Haseeb v. Imperial Oil Limited, 2019 HRTO 1174

In an earlier decision, Haseeb v. Imperial Oil, 2018 HRTO 957, the HRTO found Imperial Oil violated Mr. Haseeb’s rights under the Code. Mr. Haseeb applied for a job at Imperial Oil as an entry level engineer and was ranked first among the candidates. He was offered a job conditional on providing proof of his eligibility to work in Canada on a permanent basis by way of a Canadian birth certificate, a Canadian citizenship certificate or a Canadian certificate of permanent residence. This requirement was found to be discriminatory based on the Code ground of citizenship.

The HRTO issued this second decision to determine what remedy Mr. Haseeb was entitled to from Imperial Oil as a result of the company’s human rights violations. Mr. Haseeb sought compensation for the injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect as well as lost wages resulting from Imperial Oil’s refusal to hire him due to his lack of Canadian citizenship.

It has long been held that the purpose of lost wages awards is to restore an applicant, as far as is reasonably possible, to the financial position they would have been in, had the discrimination not happened.

The HRTO considered all the evidence and found that, but for Imperial Oil’s discrimination by considering Mr. Haseeb’s permanent eligibility to work in Canada as a factor in its decision not to hire him, Mr. Haseeb would have been hired based on his top ranking in the job competition and the offer of employment that was actually made to him.

The Tribunal found that:

  • Imperial Oil’s decision to deny Mr. Haseeb employment in an entry-level engineering position at the very start of his career was objectively serious;
  • Mr. Haseeb was a young man at the very start of his career who aspired to work as an engineer in the oil and gas sector and these dreams were effectively taken away from him;
  • Mr. Haseeb had mitigated his lost wages by taking a lower paying job at the time of the discrimination by Imperial Oil;
  • Mr. Haseeb was particularly vulnerable as an immigrant to Canada with uncertainty as to his legal status;
  • Mr. Haseeb was entitled to claim lost income for the period from when he would have started working with Imperial Oil (March 2015) until May 2019 based on the difference in the salary from his actual job and the one he would have had at Imperial Oil; and
  • there should be no reduction in Mr. Haseeb’s monetary compensation based on his dishonesty in the job application process because it was in response to Imperial Oil’s discriminatory conduct.

The Tribunal ordered:

  • Imperial Oil to pay $101,363.16 as monetary compensation for lost income, subject to applicable statutory deductions;
  • Imperial Oil to pay $15,000.00 without deduction as monetary compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect; and
  • Imperial Oil to pay $3,997.54 as pre-judgment interest on the above amounts.

To read the full decision, visit Canlii.