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Gender bias in casino's washroom, court rules

16 September 2008

ONTARIO -- As reported by The Globe and Mail: "For years, the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino in Port Perry, Ont., had a simple policy when it came to cleaning the casino's bathrooms – male employees cleaned the men's rooms and female staff the women's.

"That might have remained the case were it not for Joanne Seguin, a part-time washroom attendant who complained that the policy was discriminatory.

"...Last year, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered the casino to give her back pay plus $10,000 for 'loss of dignity.' The company appealed, but an Ontario court has now upheld the tribunal's decision, although it ordered a review of the monetary award. The company is considering one more appeal.

"It all started in 2002, shortly after the casino opened. Ms. Seguin was hired on Nov. 6, 2002, as a part-time women's washroom attendant at $10.83 an hour. ... The casino also hired Matthew Welts to work as a part-time attendant in the men's room.

"On Dec. 23, 2002, Mr. Welts was given a full-time job with the housecleaning staff.

"...Ms. Seguin asked Mr. Welts how he got the job since it had not been posted, according to documents filed with the tribunal. He told her that the casino needed a man because another man had quit..."

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