Worker's complaints of sexual discrimination



The BC Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a worker’s complaints of sex discrimination and the employer’s handling of the matter in a workplace investigations case. While the tribunal allowed the complaint regarding accommodation of the worker’s mental disability to proceed, most of the worker’s claims were found to have no reasonable prospect of success. This case highlights the importance of having a thorough workplace investigation carried out. If your organization needs assistance with workplace investigations, contact Neil Hain Dispute Resolution for expert guidance and support.

The Case:

The worker, employed as a crisis intervention worker for the City of North Vancouver, raised concerns about a colleague’s alleged sexual harassment and threatening behaviour. See Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c 210 (the Code) at s. 13(1)(b). “The Respondents’ conduct had an adverse impact on her, and her protected characteristic was a factor in the adverse impact” See Moore v. British Columbia (Education), 2012 SCC 61 [Moore] at para. 33. However, the tribunal concluded that there was insufficient evidence to establish sexual discrimination based on the worker’s gender. Malagoli v. City of North Vancouver and another, 2023 BCHRT 42 (CanLII) (Malagoli) at para. 67. The tribunal dismissed the Alleged Threat allegation under s. 27(1)(b) of the Code. See Malagoli at para. 67.

Nevertheless, the complaint related to the employer’s accommodation of the worker’s mental disability was allowed to proceed. See Malagoli at para. 170 and s. 27(1)(c) of the Code that allows the Tribunal to determine whether a complaint warrants the time and expense of a full hearing. See Berezoutskaia v. British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), 2006 BCCA 95 at paras. 22, 26-27.

Workplace Investigations and Findings:

An internal investigation conducted by an HR advisor addressed the worker’s complaint, acknowledging the interpersonal conflict but finding no evidence of bullying or harassment. Malagoli at para. 142. Subsequently, an independent investigator hired by the city deemed the colleague’s concerns reasonable, leading to no formal complaint being filed. See Malagoli at para. 109,110. This led to the tribunal dismissing the worker’s complaints concerning the colleague’s conduct and the city’s investigation, as well as the retaliation complaint, as having no reasonable prospect of success. See Malagoli at para. 332,333.

Importance of Thorough Workplace Investigations:

Employers must prioritize comprehensive workplace investigations to mitigate potential safety and human rights complaints. Thorough investigations help ensure the protection of employees’ rights and minimize legal risks for organizations. If your company requires professional assistance with workplace investigations, rely on Neil Hain Dispute Resolution’s expertise.

Contact Neil Hain Dispute Resolution:

For any workplace investigation needs, Neil Hain Dispute Resolution offers professional services to help your organization handle complex workplace issues effectively. Contact Neil Hain Dispute Resolution today to receive expert guidance and support in conducting fair and thorough workplace investigations.


While the BC Human Rights Tribunal dismissed most of the worker’s complaints in this workplace investigations case, it allowed the complaint regarding accommodation to proceed. Employers should learn from this case and prioritize thorough workplace investigations to address conflicts and protect employee rights. For expert assistance in conducting workplace investigations, contact Neil Hain Dispute Resolution for reliable and comprehensive support.