In a decision issued on July 29, 2022, LaFleche v. NLFD Auto dba Prince George Ford (No. 2), 2022 BCHRT 88, the BC Human Rights Tribunal held that an employee of NLFD Auto dba Prince George Ford experienced work-related disadvantage due to her pregnancy and family status. This constitutes sex discrimination in accordance with human rights law in BC.
Tribunal Member Amber Prince introduced the tribunal decision with the following paragraph:
For over 30 years the law in Canada is clear: a pregnancy should not lead to work‐
related disadvantages: Brooks v. Canada Safeway Ltd.,  1 SCR 1219 [Brooks].
Discrimination based on pregnancy undermines substantive equality along gendered lines. In
this case, Mellissa LaFleche suffered a work‐related disadvantage because she was pregnant.
She filed a complaint to this Tribunal seeking redress.
According to the decision, the complainant employee started working at Prince George Ford in 2015. She became a marketing manager around December 2016. She went on maternity leave in May, 2018, during the later stages of her pregnancy. The complainant asserted she was terminated from her employment while on maternity leave. The respondent asserted that she could have returned to work, but abandoned her position. The tribunal held that she was removed from her marketing manager position while on leave, and; thus, she was constructively dismissed. As such, Prince George Ford discriminated against her as her employer based on her sex and family status contrary to section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code.
The tribunal held that someone was hired expressly and temporarily to fill the complainant’s position while she was on maternity leave. The Complainant had a meeting with representatives of Prince George Ford while on leave. The meeting led her do believe that her job duties were being changed as a result of her absence to such an extent that she was being constructively dismissed. One of the main factors leading to this conclusion was that the employee previously hired to covered the maternity leave was set to stay on permanently in the role.
The tribunal held that the complainant experienced an adverse impact in the complainant’s employment for the following reasons:
- She was removed from her marketing manager position;
- She was humiliated during the meeting where she was told her duties would change;
- She was constructively dismissed.
The complainant did not do anything to try and return to work after she was given the impression that her duties were being changed; however, according to the tribunal, it was not her job to:
 It was not Ms. LaFleche’s responsibility to mitigate the position Ford unilaterally put her
in: an atmosphere of humiliation from being removed from her marketing manager position; a
reasonable perception that Ford did not really welcome back; and an uncertainty of what
position if any she would return to at Ford: Evans v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31, 2008 SCC 20
(CanLII),  1 SCR 661 at para. 30, cited with approval in Morgan‐Hung v. Provincial Health
Services and others (No. 4), 2009 BCHRT 371 [Morgan‐Hung] at paras. 464‐465.
 The adverse impacts that flowed to Ms. LaFleche, as a result of not being returned to
her marketing manager position lay at Ford’s feet: Morgan‐Hung at para. 463.
After finding that discrimination occurred, the Tribunal considered remedies. It awarded the complainant $12,000 for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect. It awarded over $66,000 in lost wages after reducing the award by the amount that her employment standards act complaint settled for. This covered a period of time that she was not able to work or find work and that she missed out on maternity and parental leave EI benefits while parenting her second child.