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

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Cheryl Roberts said she's having to consider putting down her cat, Burley, because she can't afford his dental surgery. (Cheryl Roberts photo)
COVID impact on Langley woman’s finances puts her kitty’s future in jeopardy

A Langley woman said money was tight before COVID and now she struggles to afford vet care

Maple Ridge and Langley Township have made the Smart21 list.
Virtual conference co-hosts Maple Ridge and Langley Township make list of Smart21

21 communities shortlisted for Intelligent Community of the Year after online event

Clean Up Aldergrove will be picking litter on 200 Street this Sunday, Feb. 28. (Special to The Star)
Organizer of litter clean-up event in Langley looking for volunteers

Earth Ninja group will be tackling 200th Street on Sunday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read