Employee ordered to detail alleged onion, garlic allergy discrimination in response to human rights complaint

Burnaby Now

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An employee accusing the City of Burnaby of not accommodating her latex balloon, onion and garlic allergies has been ordered to provide the details of her allegations to the city.

Photos via Pexels

Tracy Klewchuk, a 26-year city employee who has worked at various recreation centres around Burnaby, has filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, saying the city repeatedly exposed her to latex, onions and garlic between 2008 and 2018, deprived her of work opportunities and then gave her a negative performance review in retaliation for her complaints of discrimination.

The city denies the allegations and recently applied for the tribunal to order Klewchuk to disclose the particulars of her accusations, including the dates she told supervisors about her allergies, who the supervisors were and what details she provided.

The city also wanted to know the specifics around where and when Klewchuk was exposed to latex, onions and garlic at work and the details about job opportunities she was denied because of her allergies.

“I accept that these details may be difficult for Ms. Klewchuk to provide,” tribunal member Devyn Cousineau wrote in a ruling last month. “However, she will not be able to substantiate this claim at a hearing without leading some evidence of when and where these incidents occurred. The city is entitled to notice of what Ms. Klewchuk intends to prove with respect to this allegation, in order to investigate and prepare its response.”

To help her recall some of the details, Klewchuk asked the city for old Burnaby Leisure Guides between 2008 and 2013.

But the city objected, saying she was “not entitled to require the (city) to provide her with documents for the purpose of enabling her to manufacture particulars of her entirely speculative allegations.”

Cousineau disagreed, saying the city was asking for details going back 10 years and the leisure guides would help Klewchuk remember them.

She ordered the city to provide the guides.

Cousineau gave Klewchuk until this Friday to provide the city with the requested details of her complaint.