A Canadian man was told he wouldn’t get a promotion because he’s straight.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Aaren Jagadeesh was denied a promotion 17 times by his employers at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Toronto. Jagadeesh claims that a manager told him during a private meeting in 2015 that he would not get a promotion unless he joined a group of gay and bisexual men.
Jagadeesh says the situation caused him mental distress and hurt his self-esteem. He also added that his job as a financial services representative led to physical problems too. By being on the phone so much, Jagadeesh says he developed severe pain in his vocal chords. He was later diagnosed with a voice disorder called muscle tension dysphonia.
Jagadeesh says that after he revealed his diagnosis at work, he started to receive workplace discrimination. When Jagadeesh asked for medically advised breaks or a change in his work duties, he was told to take short term disability. Then, he was outright threatened with discipline if he took off for health issues.
Eventually, Aaren Jagadeesh was fired in 2016 and then he field a work discrimination complaint in 2017. After having the case dismissed by the Canadian Human Rights Commission (or CHRC), Jagadeesh had his case looked at by the Federal Court of Canada. The organization ruled that the CHRC improperly rejected the case and have thus started their own investigation.
According to Justice Janet M Fuhrer, Jagadeesh being straight “was the primary reason for his discrimination and explained why, despite his qualifications, experience, and excellent performance, he was denied workplace accommodation for his disability, and not offered any alternative position.”
As reparations for Jagadeesh having to represent himself, the Federal Court of Canada has ordered the CHRC to pay him $3,332.30.
But what does the CHRC say about the situation? As Hanna Lange-Chenier, a spokeswoman for the CHRC, told the Ottawa Citizen, “The law prevents us from commenting on any complaint in our system.”