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Law Grad’s Discrimination Claim Denied Once Again

Written by Glenn Kauth
Posted Date: October 31, 2011

A law graduate who lost her discrimination claim against her articling principal has once again found herself stymied at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

In a new ruling, the HRTO dismissed Anica Visic’s request for reconsideration of a decision earlier this year that there was insufficient evidence for a finding of discrimination stemming from the employer’s request for her final law school transcript.

Visic submitted unofficial grade reports from her studies at the University of Windsor between 2002 and 2005. The reports didn’t include her original failed attempt at first-year law school before she gained readmission in 2002.

Visic experiences myofascial pain, which involves shoulder, arm, neck, and upper-body muscle spasms that restrict her ability to sit and write for extended periods of time. Still, she has failed at repeated legal efforts to get the first-year failures expunged from her records on the basis that the university had provided inadequate accommodation for her disability.

Visic ended up articling at Toronto-based Elia Associates Professional Corp. When Patricia Elia, a senior lawyer at the firm who acted as Visic’s articling
principal, discovered her fight with the university, she asked for a full transcript. Visic claimed the request violated her human rights because it forced
her to reveal her disability and that her termination several months later was discriminatory.

In a June 28 decision, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario vice chairwoman Ena Chadha sided with the Elias and dismissed all of Visic’s allegations, almost three years after she first made them and nearly four years since her termination by the firm.

Elia Associates was entitled to check the full transcript and hadn’t acted in a discriminatory manner, ruled Chadha.

At the time, Elia said she was relieved at the decision. “It just feels humiliating after you’ve spent your life really working for justice and equality
to be called this, so it was actually kind of sweet, the decision,” she told
Law Times.

But Elia once again found herself fighting the case after Visic requested a reconsideration of the June decision on the grounds that it misapprehended
or ignored evidence in the case. Visic was unsuccessful, however, in making that argument before Chadha.

“There are no new facts or evidence that could potentially be determinative of the case,” Chadha wrote. “The applicant’s request does not establish that
the decision conflicts with established jurisprudence and that the reconsideration raises issues of general or public importance. Nor are there other factors identified in the request that outweigh the public interest in the finality of tribunal decisions.”

Reproduced from http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/526/Law-grads-discrimination-claim-denied-once-again.html