The BC Human Rights Tribunal has accepted a parent to be added to their child’s human rights complaint and the Supreme Court of BC upheld the decision.

The Human Rights Tribunal finds the complaint novel, as the parent loss income due to needing to take a leave of absence from their work to deal with the stress of their child not getting the accommodations they needed at school. The parents complaint is that she was discriminated against due to family status and claims she suffered various financial, physical and emotional impacts. For details see paragraph #11 & #12 in the case below.

[11]      In January 2020, the parent retained counsel. Shortly thereafter, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and this materially impacted the preparation of the proposed amended complaint because the child and her family were at high risk for COVID-19 and were required to largely stay at home. On October 30, 2020, the parent sought to be added to the complaint, alleging that, as a parent of a child with a disability, the parent has her own personal complaint. The amendments sought would add details of the events in the existing complaint, and would add further allegations about the discriminatory effect of the events on the parent personally. The parent’s complaint is that she was discriminated against personally on the basis of family status.

[12]      The parent alleges that she has had to witness her child’s struggles as a result of the School’s conduct, including the child’s distress and anxiety on a daily basis. This was extremely difficult, exhausting and traumatic for the parent. The parent required counselling to address her trauma, and has been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome as a result of the stress. In addition, the parent alleges that she had to take a leave from work to assist with the child, and has suffered various financial impacts.

This paves the path for many other parents who need to take a leave of absence/quit their jobs or experience any adverse impacts due to the discrimination or exclusion their children experience at school and their disabilities not being accommodated under the human rights code.

Read all of the details in this case posted today on the BC Supreme Court website. Link below. April 8th, 2022.