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A convicted sex offender who was fired from the University of Manitoba has taken his former employer to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission [MBHRC], alleging his charter rights to be free from discrimination have been violated.
In a case titled “A.B v. The University of Manitoba,” the former employee claims he was unjustly discriminated against when he was fired from the university following the institution’s discovery of his criminal past.
While the exact details of “A.B’s” crimes are unknown, the MBHRC document revealed “A.B” was given a three year jail sentence, and a lifetime prohibition order restricting him from communication or contact with children under the age of 14.
“A.B’s” prohibition order included taking up employment or appearing in public places where children of that age could reasonably be expected to be present, and also a complete ban on using a computer to communicate with minors.
Despite what appears to be a disturbing criminal past, the MBHRC protected “A.B’s” identity, validating his appeal that revealing his identity would cause “damage to [my] dignity” and consequences for his emotional health, family, company, and friends.
Only five provinces in Canada currently allow employers to legally disqualify candidates on the basis of criminal histories. Manitoba is not one of them, and allows human rights complaints to be brought by employees who feel they have been discriminated against in the job market on the basis of their criminal records.
The University of Manitoba did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.
The revelations of this case at the MBHRC come just shortly after the University of Manitoba was rocked by another scandal involving child sex abuse. On January 20, a University of Manitoba faculty was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the possession of child pornography. Professor Trevor Pemberton worked as a researcher at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and at the University of Manitoba as an assistant professor of biochemistry and medical genetics. He was arrested in 2018, and sentenced in January of 2020.