Stand up for disability rights in the workplace
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Help protect the rights of people with mental illness in the workplace. The Supreme Court of BC has created a precedent by saying unions can force out workers if they are mentally ill. We need to topple this precedent. More

I was working in a CUPE unionized workplace, the Positive Living Society of BC. The union president and three to four other employees decided that they were going to call me mentally ill, so that they could get me fired. 

They were angry because I participated in a fundraising run and was very active and involved on committees. They claimed that mentally ill people were a threat to them. No threat was was ever made. 

This is a support society for people living with HIV. Many people using this service have co-conditions related to mental illness. We need to protect these people. 

I was fired for having an alleged mental illness. I went to the Labour Board and said this is wrong. The Labour Board said they were allowed to do this because they were "uncomfortable" because of my mental illness. They said they didn't need evidence of a threat. Their feelings that mental illness is bad is all they need. 

I went to the court and appeared in front of Justice Greyell. Justice Greyell, agreed that mentally ill people can be fired if a small number of union members claim they are a threat. He did not find evidence of a threat, but nevertheless, he said it "alienates" them to have mentally ill people present. 

Because Mr. Greyell works for the Supreme Court of BC, he is able to create a precedent. A precedent means that other lawyers can take this case and say, "Look. Human rights do not apply here. Justice Greyell has determined that mentally ill people do not need to pose a threat to be fired." This means that people with mental illnesses cannot have any job security in unionized workplaces. This could even be used in non-unionized cases. Anytime someone decides someone else has a mental illness, or that they are a threat, they can have them fired and all they have to say is "alienated" or "uncomfortable." 

We need to ensure that this decision is thrown out before it is used elsewhere to deny a person with mental illness their basic human rights. Precedents are used across Canada. The fact that this decision was made in BC will not protect people in Ontario. Also we need to protect the people living with HIV in British Columbia from these disturbing attitudes. The courts have given the staff at the Positive Living Society the message that discriminating on the basis of a mental illness is OK. 

Also, this precedent can be used to override other protected grounds for discrimination. Don't want to work with someone from another race or gender? Simply say you are "uncomfortable."

Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal says that I need $1,800 to fight this precedent in court because I need to pay the other parties costs in case I lose. 

Can you help make sure that people with mental illness have the right to work anywhere, including unionized workplaces? 

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Donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association
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I want to do my part to support people with mental illnesses. I will donate 10 per cent of any contribution over $100 to the Canadian Mental Health Association.
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