Apparently, she and another candidate were rejected, thus prompting a new search. She’s insisting a colleague of hers sabotaged her efforts to actually gain the position.
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario says it has the power to both remove and appoint university deans, according to a new ruling in the case of a woman who claims racism and sexism were behind her rejection as Dean of Law at the University of Windsor.
Professor Emily Carasco alleges a colleague “sabotaged” her candidacy last spring by raising historical allegations of plagiarism with the search committee, and as part of her human rights complaint, she asked the tribunal to over-rule the school and appoint her dean.
And sure enough, according to the article, our lovely human rights tribunals do have that power.
This surprising power derives from the section of the Ontario Human Rights Code that empowers the tribunal to make “an order directing any party to the application to do anything that, in the opinion of the tribunal, the party ought to do to promote compliance with this Act.”
Although it is relatively common in labour relations law for successful complainants to be restored to their rightful jobs, even if they have since been filled, there is no precedent for such a high-level job being dictated by a human rights tribunal, and academic freedom would surely figure prominently in arguments over such an order.
“Anything”, in this case, could potentially include handing over a position to someone whom the university has, for whatever reason, determined doesn’t actually meet the qualifications–or is otherwise unsuitable. I wouldn’t begrudge Emily her day in court–even if I don’t agree this case should have gotten this far, but it kinda makes me think. If all that stands between you and a well-paying job is a discrimination claim, neverminding whether or not the people doing the hiring think you qualified enough for the job in the first place, my employment fortunes may just complete a 180-degree turn. To hell with that other guy’s half dozen more years of experience than me–I’m disabled, and therefore I’m entitled to that job. Yeah, now tell me Canada’s human rights codes haven’t gone out to lunch.