Re: "Tribunal ruling may curb special-needs hiring," Oct. 30.
As someone with lived experience, I do not share the writer's disenchantment with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal's decision against Thrifty Foods. This progressive tribunal ruling is a monumental human-rights victory for people with mental illnesses. After centuries of taboo, stigma and shame, consumers are finally enjoying the legal protections afforded other ostracized marginalized groups.
The tribunal ruling was not about enabling a so-called disruptive employee. Thrifty Foods breached its duty to accommodate the disability of the employee and neglected to find solutions and alternatives for her. In other words, her disability was not given the recognition and respect it deserved. This tribunal ruling brings us into the new millennium where depression and other psychological illnesses are taken seriously as legitimate workplace disabilities.
The World Health Organization predicts that depression will be the No. 1 global disability in 2013. I applaud the employee and the BCHRT for bringing mental illness out of the closet. This brings us closer to a bright future where even words like "those people" and "special needs" are obsolete.
Doreen Marion Gee
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