Law grad’s discrimination claim denied once again

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.”

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE weekly newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered every two weeks, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please complete the form below to receive the weekly Canadian Legal Newswire and/or the Canadian Inhouse Legal Newswire.

Recent articles & video

PwC powers-up legal services with AI platform

Law careers may start on Instagram…

Top Intellectual Property and Labour and Employment Boutiques survey closes on Friday

Differentiating common law from marriage in family law

Insights on Quebec’s plan to restrict the sale of cannabis edibles

Make legal aid an election issue

Most Read Articles

Millennial lawyers look for the value proposition

True North and Rebel News seek judicial review on press accreditation denial for debates

EY Law overtakes PwC in global alternative legal services rankings

Differentiating common law from marriage in family law