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City of Cornwall responds to Human Rights Tribunal Decision

Media Release
City of Cornwall

City of Cornwall responds to Human Rights Tribunal Decision
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently issued a decision on a case involving the City of Cornwall and a former City employee. The case dealt with issues of harassment and accommodation in the workplace dating back to 2004 and 2005.

Cornwall - Nov. 8, 2011 - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently issued a decision on a case involving the City of Cornwall and a former City employee. The case dealt with issues of harassment and accommodation in the workplace dating back to 2004 and 2005.

In the decision, the adjudicator finds the City failed to accommodate the employee in question or protect the individual from harassment in the workplace. The City does not comment on human resource issues involving individual employees or former employees. As such, the City will not comment on any specific details from the adjudicator's decision.

"The City of Cornwall is run by people, and sometimes people don't always make the best decisions," said Mayor Bob Kilger. "City Administration is currently reviewing the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal, and we will be reviewing our internal policies and protocols to ensure that we continue to have a safe and welcoming workplace."

The City has already made some enhancements to its internal policies and procedures since this case first arose several years ago.

"The City of Cornwall is committed to the positive resolution of issues of workplace accommodation, harassment and accessibility," added CAO Paul Fitzpatrick. "The City's Corporate Code of Conduct Policy Manual, which sets out standards for all municipal employees, contains a number of policies related to these matters."

The City's Workplace Harassment Policy - which was most recently updated last June - clearly sets out a definition and reporting procedure for workplace harassment complaints.

Meanwhile, the City's Health and Safety Policy contains guidelines on work accommodation matters. In addition to that, most of the collective agreements in place with the City contain language dealing with workplace accommodation.

The City acknowledges that the workplace is a dynamic place where interactions between individuals can sometimes be complicated. The City conducts training with new and existing employees on a regular basis on a wide variety of workplace issues.

The Human Rights Tribunal's primary role is to assist parties to resolve applications through mediation, and to decide those applications where the parties are unable to reach a resolution through settlement.


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