Employer Ordered to Remedy Discriminatory Treatment

Canada (Attorney General) v. Grover (No. 1) (1992), 18 C.H.R.R. D/1 (C.H.R.T.)

The Tribunal finds that the National Research Council of Canada discriminated against Dr. Chander Grover because of his race, colour and national origin.

Dr. Grover is a research physicist whose specialty is optics. He was born in India and educated there and in France. He came to Canada in 1978 and was hired by the National Research Council in 1981. Dr. Grover has an excellent reputation in his field. During his first years at the Council Dr. Grover received excellent recommendations, and regular promotions. In 1984 Dr. Grover worked with Dr. Wyszecki of the National Research Council to establish a National Optics Institute in Canada. He devoted part of his time to this project while also continuing his own research at the Council. When the National Optics Institute was functioning, Dr. Grover was offered the position of Scientific Director, but he declined this offer in favour of returning to work full-time at the National Research Council.

Between 1986 and 1990 Dr. Grover experienced a number of setbacks. He was denied research funds, summer student assistance, and approval for conference participation. His research group was disbanded, he was assigned to work under a scientist who was junior to him in experience, he was denied a promotion and eventually his employment was terminated.

The Tribunal finds that there was a concerted effort by two persons in management, namely the directors Dr. H. Preston-Thomas and Dr. M. Laubitz, to thwart Dr. Grover's career progression, and that Dr. Grover was the victim of differential treatment in a number of situations. It concludes that this treatment amounted to discrimination because of race and colour. The Tribunal also finds that National Research Council staff attempted to intimidate witnesses to deter them from testifying in the human rights hearing, and that these efforts amount to a breach of the Canadian Human Rights Act's prohibition against retaliation and intimidation.

The Tribunal orders the National Research Council to apologize to Dr. Grover for its discriminatory treatment. It also orders the National Research Council to pay Dr. Grover for wages lost because of the discrimination and the impact of it on his career and promotion opportunities. It orders the parties to name a single arbitrator within thirty days to determine the amount of this wage loss. It also orders the Council to appoint Dr. Grover at the earliest possible opportunity to a position of section head or group leader. It orders the Council to pay Dr. Grover $5,000 as compensation for the humiliation he experienced, to pay interest on the monetary award from 1986 onward, and to pay Dr. Grover's legal costs after assessment on the Federal Court Scale.

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