Montreal, Quebec – A female truck driver has won a discrimination case against a Montreal-area company that she said refused to hire her because of her sex. The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has ordered the company to pay $10,000 in compensation.
The woman, who was not named in the report, filed her complaint in February 2008 when Bernard Wolinsky, owner of Laurentian Shavings Products and Lanjay Peat Moss, refused to consider her candidacy for a truck driver’s job.
According to the evidence, Wolinsky told her, “We don’t take women here. It’s very difficult for a woman to remove the snow from the roof of the trailers.” When notified of the complaint, he told a Commission investigator, “I don’t hire women, it is my prerogative.”
In its ruling, the Tribunal found that the Commission put forth preponderant evidence that Wolinsky had refused to consider the complainant’s application because she was a woman and that her right to be treated with equality and dignity had been compromised. She was awarded $7,000 in moral damages and $3,000 in punitive damages.
The woman, who was collecting employment insurance at the time, answered a classified advertisement and went to the companies’ offices. As she was shown into Wolinsky’s office, he told her that he didn’t hire women and did not interview her. The woman had obtained her Class 1 driver’s permit in 2003 and had five years’ experience working part-time for a number of transportation agencies.