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Free The Chapdelaine and Gravel v. Air Canada Case Essay Sample

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In the Chapdelaine & Gravel verses Air Canada cases that was filed on 19th September, 1979 and 26th February, 1980 respectively, in the Canadian courts and the tribunal to hear the above mentioned case appointed on the 16th of April, 1986.The tribunal was vested with the responsibility of determining if the complainants case against the Canadian Airline qualifies to be rated as denial of employment due to ones sex stipulated in the Sections 7&10 of the Canadian Act respectively.

The case was filed by to individuals both pilots, it is reported that the complainant parties were refused employment by Air Canada after applying for positions as pilots. It was claimed that the complainants had been denied employment because of their wanting heights. This was produced as Exhibit(C-1 & C-2).The complainants argued that the Canadian Airlines Height requirements of (5’6) amounted to sexual discrimination and hence this had led to them incurring some damages as a result. It was further reported that the complainants were well experience to fly the Canadian Airlines planes but they had been discriminatorily denied employment due to their wanting height. One captain with the Airline claimed that one of there manufacturers had asked them to consider only persons with the height of 5, 6 to fly the planes they manufactured. His claim was however baseless as the Airline could not produce any document to prove that.

The court raised issues to do with the following in question form. Did the employers denial to offer them employment amount to sexual discrimination under Sections 7 &10 of the Act? .Was the complainant’s denial of employment factual as stipulated in the Act section 14(a)? What magnitude does such damages tantamount to? Does one loose seniority? If they do is the court in a position to compensate them? The court in return ordered the complainants, Chapdelaine & Gravel to be paid a sum of ($33,600 and $25,480) respectively.

Discrimination which is the major theme in this case is of major concern to both the Human Resource and Human rights fields. The complainants Chapdelaine & Gravel where denied a chance to fly for the Canadian Airline by simply basing on their heights. It is funny to note that both the applicants had enough experience to fly but their heights denied them that chance a factor that was not of their own making. Between 1977 and 1983, Gravel flew a variety of single and multi engine aircraft for a variety of employers. In January, she flew as a first pilot on a Nordiar owned plane in 1983.In March 1985, Gravel was elevated to flying a Boeing 737 as a first officer of the Canadian Airlines International, and the successor to Nordair .Chapdelaine’s situation is similar. She began flying when only 15 years old, she later got her flying license at an age less than seventeen years. She further went ahead to complete all the examinations for her airline pilot’s license before her 21st birthday. By 1983, Chapdelaine was also employed by Nordiar and now flies a Boeing 737 as a first officer with Canadian Airlines International.” (The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 2007).

The employee’s denial of an opportunity to work should be based on “bona fide occupational requirement”, not on unrealistic reasons like height. A factor that is discriminative in the human rights field and contradicts the human resource management code of conduct policies. It should thus be noted that the equal opportunity principle under human resource management be of paramount applicability. Everyone should be allowed employment in absence of hindrances that result on discriminative grounds. The legislative authority of the Canadian parliament stipulates that  every individual should have an equal opportunity with other individuals to make for himself or herself the life that he or she wishes or is able to attain, in  relation to his or her duties  as a member of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so through being discriminated with  regard to his or her race, national, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted. The Act stresses that it only qualifies as discrimination after an employer denies employment to an individual or  pursues a policy that may tend to deny him or her employment. (The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 2007)

 Human resource managers should learn in relation to the above case that, an employer can discriminate, basing on other wise prohibitive ground, if you have concrete business reasons. You must however be able to demonstrate the applicability of the workplace policy, standard, criteria or rule relied upon are “BonaFideOccupationalRequirement” (The Human Rights Code Made Simple)

According to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Human resource managers should base their arguments on written documents, for the above case Captain Pigeon of the Canadian Airlines explained how they received an ironius phone call from one of their manufacturers instructing them to allow only 5, 6 feet pilots to fly their planes. But on being requested to produce the documents he claims to have only implimentated the instructions through word of mouth. This ignorance in keeping written documents of every employment resolution results costs those thousands of dollars in law suit. . (The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 2007)

Direct discrimination occurs due to factors unrelated to merit, potential, ability of groups or persons, as used to discriminate them. Here a person is treated less significantly due to their race, age, sex among others. For example a black man getting a job as opposed to a white even better qualified man (Equality and diversity)

Systematic discrimination according to Ronald L. Craig is discrimination that comes as a result of simple operation of procedures established for recruitment, promotion and hiring none of which is designed to promote discrimination. It is hence reinforced by the disadvantaged groups being excluded from employment hence fostering the believe both internally and externally in the group, this may be as a result of natural causes For example discriminating women from certain jobs(Ronald. L.Craig, 2006). Height may yet be another basis of systematic discriminating at the work place as evidences in the law suit against Canadian Airline.

Mary L.Boland,2002 define sexual harassment has those behaviors that are obnoxious in a sexual way this may range from minor offensive acts or words to rape or even forced sex.The stipulates no minimum level of harassment. It however boils down to how severe the act was and its impact on the victim. The different degrees of sexual harassment includes; request for sex, sexual teasing, sexual comments, sexual advances that are inappropriate. (Mary L.Boland, 2002)

According to Mary L.Boland, a hostile working environment is that offensive and intimidating condition that changes or denies a job or work opportunity to a person. (Mary L.Boland, 2002)

In our case the Canadian Airline exposes both Chapdelaine and Gravel in this sought of environ meant by setting up rules that discriminated person with a height of less than 5, 6 feet. This hence became ground enough for them to launch a law suit.

According to the CHRC, 2007, Quid pro quo Duty to accommodate Reasonable accommodation Undue hardship Protected groups, the human resources should learn to accommodate some groups due to hardships. It is reported that in Canada in 1978 and 1981 it had been established that females in Canada with ages between   20 and  29 years  about 82% of all Canadian women had a height of below 5,6 feet the standard require height by Canadian Airlines. It is also reported that about 11% of males did not reach the height of 5, 6 feet .It’s thus prudent to note that the airlines height policy between 1978 to 1982 was bound to lock out 82% of Canadian female and 11% of the Male. This is where Chapdelaine & Gravel laid in terms of height a factor that gave then leverage in their suit against Canadian Airline. So had the human resource management of the company done their research well, and realized the above statistics then they would have applied the Quid pro quo Duty policy to accommodate Reasonable accommodation Undue hardship Protected groups. By appropriately adjusting their recruitment policy base on a height of 5, 6 feet and thus the subsequent avoidance of the thousands of Canadian dollars in law suits. (The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 2007)

According to the Human resource and social Development Canada (hrsdc), this term was formulated by a judge named Rosalie Silberman Abella who was by then a seating member on the royal commission on equity in employment. He formulated this term in order to distinct employment aspects in the Canadian process for achieving equity. This term was to bring a clear cut between the Canadian methods and the American’s model of “Affirmative action” a model that was meant to move past the “equal opportunity”. After finding out that the underlining fact into in the rapidly existing employment inequality as being “Systematic discrimination”, the commission chose this term to best describe that process. The commission further found out that employment equity was a process that was on-going and was mostly used by employers to; Eliminate barriers in the policies and procedures of employment by an organization only after they had been identified. The goal of this employment equity was to foster and organizational climate of equity, Prevent future while remedying past discrimination acts in employment opportunities for employees (What is employment equity, hrsdc)

“Employment equity has also been used by the courts to break a continuing cycle of systematic discrimination. The aim is not to indemnify the past victims or redress for particular individuals who have suffered episodes of unfair treatment by refusal of jobs and promotions in the past” (Rosemary Hunter, 1992)

In conclusion, the Canadian Airline through is height and subsequent sex discrimination policy. Landed it in the courts facing a low suit filed against them by two ladies (Chapdelaine & Gravel).This is a clear evidence of how systematic discrimination was used by the Airline to deny the two employment .This is just one of the cases that were filed against discrimination but the bottom line is that several employers out there are still discriminating employees either directly or indirectly.

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