Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

A BC Ferries employee who claims he was fired because of his race, alleging a “make-up of white supremacy” in the company’s workforce, will now get to argue his case.

Imraan Goondiwala worked his last day in Dec. 2017, according to a BC Human Rights Tribunal decision issued Jan. 20.

The behaviour that led to Goondiwala’s firing was a determination by BC Ferries that he “stole” company time to discuss union matters.

Goondiwala attested that while he was investigated for misconduct and fired, his white co-worker received a day-long suspension for similar behaviour.

In the tribunal’s decision, member Devyn Cousineau said if proven, the disparity in the treatment between the employees could qualify as discrimination.

RELATED: Human rights complaint filed over private change rooms for female BC Ferries engineers

BC Ferries has a predominantly white workforce, the former employee argued, particularly “when it comes to opportunities for advancement.”

In earlier complaints, Goondiwala said he applied for three promotions between 2015 and 2017 but was denied the positions due to what he claimed was a “pattern of racism” within the company.

Lawyers for BC Ferries applied to dismiss Goondiwala’s complaints, denying race played a part in its dealings with the former employee.

Cousineau granted a dismissal to all but one of Goondiwala’s allegations: that discrimination played a factor in the company’s decision to terminate his employment. This was ruled after BC Human Rights Tribunal reconsidered the case.

READ MORE: B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

The tribunal member concluded: “There is rarely direct evidence to connect adverse treatment to a person’s race because of the insidious and subconscious ways in which racism operates.”

He went on: “That connection can often only be proven by inference.”

As such, Goondiwala’s complaint will progress to a hearing.

Black Press Media contacted BC Ferries about the matter, to which a spokesperson from the company replied, “Our policy is not to publicly discuss matters before the courts.”



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BCFerries

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Sean Smyth is expected to be announced the winner of the municipal by-election for city council today. Photo provided
Sean Smyth to replace Babchuk on council

Sean Smyth is expected to be named the winner of the 2021… Continue reading

Options for separated bike lanes throughout the city will be considered during the Master Transportation Plan review, not on a case-by-case basis before that, based on a decision made at the last council meeting in regards to improvements on Hilchey Road. Black Press File Photo
Campbell River City Council refers Hilchey bike lane to transportation plan review

Mayor calls spending $4.75 million on a bike lane ‘out of touch’ with city’s current economic reality

Piano and music.
Rotary Honours Concert goes virtual for 2021

The show must go on. But this year the free “gift to… Continue reading

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read