A Canadian banker says he was denied a promotion at work… for being unwaveringly straight.
Aaren Jagadeesh says his manager at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in Toronto denied his requests for a promotion because he wasn’t gay or bisexual.
Jagadeesh claims that in 2015, he was told that every single one of the bank’s managers “in both his office and headquarters were either gay or bisexual” and that was “why young employees with little qualifications were promoted.”
He also alleges he was told there was “no hope” for him of ever getting a promotion unless he joined their “group.”
In 2016, Jagadeesh was let go from the bank. In 2017, he filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission asking it to evaluate what he believed to be a work discrimination case on the basis of his sexual orientation.
The commission originally initially denied the request for an investigation. Now, the Federal Court of Canada has ordered it to reassess the case.
Jagadeesh claims that “despite his qualifications, experience, and excellent performance, he was denied workplace accommodation for his disability, and not offered any alternative position.” As a result, “mental stress and self-dignity” were negatively affected.
He also says that since his job required him to speak to as many as 70 customers a day, he suffered vocal cord injuries and that the bank wouldn’t provide him adequate workplace accommodations, forcing him to go on short-term disability.
According to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, an investigator “noted Mr. Jagadeesh’s allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but declined to investigate further,” adding that “aside from the complainant’s feelings in this regard, the complainant did not provide any other evidence to support his allegations that the respondent differentiated against him in employment based on sexual orientation.”
The federal court ruled that the commission should not have dropped the case so quickly. In addition to ordering a new investigation, the judge also ordered Jagadeesh’s former employer to pay him $3,332.30.