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Manitoba health authority wants to appeal case to Supreme Court of Canada

Manitoba health authority wants to appeal case to Supreme Court of Canada
Canada
WINNIPEG -- A Manitoba human rights case involving a former health worker who was fired for drinking alcohol could be heading to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Northern Regional Health Authority is seeking leave to appeal a Manitoba Court of Appeal ruling on the Linda Horrock s case.

Horrocks was fired from her job at a personal care home in Flin Flon in 2011 over ongoing problems with alcohol.

In 2015, a Manitoba human rights panel found that she had been discriminated against by the health authority, which then won an appeal in Court of Queen s Bench.

In October, the appeal court ruled in favour of the human rights commission, focusing on the question of whether a human rights tribunal can adjudicate a complaint of discrimination in a workplace governed by a collective agreement.

Isha Khan, executive director of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, says she hopes the Supreme Court will hear the case.

She said there has been growing confusion around Manitoba s Human Rights Code and the jurisdiction of the human rights commission, tribunal and labour arbitrators appointed under the Labour Relations Act.

"The Manitoba Human Rights Commission is hopeful that the Supreme Court of Canada will grant leave to appeal in this case," she wrote in an email Thursday.

"The commission will be filing a response to the leave application in the next few weeks agreeing that clarification on the jurisdictional questions is needed to reassure Canadians of the fundamental importance of human rights law and how it protects all workers, unionized or not, from discrimination in the workplace."

Khan said the commission believes the human rights system in Manitoba is designed to work alongside the labour arbitration system.

She said all workers in Manitoba have the right to choose to pursue their complaints discrimination under the Human Rights Code through their union or directly through the commission.

Northern Regional Health Authority officials were not available for comment.

In the 2015 ruling in favour of Horrocks an independent adjudicator said her alcohol addiction qualified as a disability that her employer failed to accommodate.
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