Discrimination by Status Grounds
Under the Act, discrimination is classified into four (4) broad categories. Each complaint must fall within one or more of these categories and must correlate to one or more of the seven (7) status grounds provided for in the Act. See below for some examples of how each category is linked to a status ground.
This applies to how an educational institution selects students (subject to any existing Agreement or practice between the State and Educational Boards), and how it treats with existing students.
This applies to the treatment of persons applying for employment (prospective employees) as well as to existing employees (where things like access to vocational training, promotions, transfers, benefits are included).
Provision of Accommodation
This applies to the treatment of persons seeking accommodation as well as of persons to whom accommodation have already been provided.
Provision of Goods and Services
This relates to the provision of goods, facilities and services to the public (whether or not for payment) and includes things like access to and use of a public place; facilities for entertainment, recreation or refreshment, transport or travel; the services of any profession or trade or of any statutory or municipal authority, and such like.
Mr. John is a Systems Analyst and seeking a promotion at his job. His employers elects Mr. Carey also a Systems Analyst, who is of a different race to Mr. John despite Mr. John being more qualified and has more experience for the position than Mr. Carey. There may be a possibility that Mr. John was discriminated against due to his race.
Ms. Marvel is employed with an Oil and Gas Company and suffers from scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) which she developed at a young age. As a result, she has an uneven shoulder height and leans mostly to her left side. This causes Ms. Marvel to experience serious back pain due to degenerative changes in her spine. In this circumstance, she requested from her employers reasonable accommodation by way of a Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair which has shown to aid persons suffering from scoliosis. The organisation continuously indicates that they are looking into providing her with an ergonomic chair but it has been almost two (2) years and the chair has not been provided. The employers may be considered as discriminating against Ms. Marvel due to her disability by not providing reasonable accommodation
Mrs. Johnson is being denied employment at a company as she is a newlywed. The company has selected Ms. Winter who is single as they believe that this person will be able to devote more time to the job as opposed to Mrs. Johnson. Mrs. Johnson has both the qualifications and experience for the position and moreso she is more suitably qualified than Ms. Winter. An employer should not deny a person access to a job opportunity on the basis of their marital status.
Mr. Marley, a Rastafarian, has applied for the position of Customer Service Representative at a public institution. This job requires that Mr. Marley interact with the general public on a day to day basis. Mr. Marley was successful in the job assessment and was shortlisted for a follow up interview. After the interview, Mr. Marley contacted the organisation enquiring as to whether or not he was successful and was told that the position was given to another individual, Mr. Jackson, whom he knows. Mr. Jackson however does not have the minimum requirements for the position and as such, Mr. Marley believes that he is being discriminated against on the basis that he sports a dreadlocks hairstyle, which the organization considers to not be in line with the company’s image.
Mrs. Baksh is currently employed as a teller at Corinth Bank Limited and as a practicing Muslim, has decided to start wearing the hijab. She has been told that if she does not remove the hijab she can no longer be employed with the bank. She has refused to remove same and was subsequently served with a termination letter. She has now lodged a complaint of discrimination against the bank on the basis of her religion, her being Muslim and practicing her faith by wearing the hijab.
Ms. Salinger is a Sales Clerk within the Administrative Unit of a Company. Within the unit, there are other persons who hold the same position of Sales Clerk. In an informal conversation, she was told by her male colleague, also a Sales Clerk, that his salary is higher than hers. When she questioned other members in the unit, she realized that females were given less pay as opposed to their male counterparts. In this regard, she lodged a complaint of discrimination based on sex as a result of her receiving lesser pay for work of equal value.
Mr. Capers resides in Laventille and applied for a job in an insurance company but was not shortlisted despite meeting the minimum requirements and more. He claims that the person selected for the position is less qualified than him and as a result is of the belief that he was denied employment on the basis that he resides in Laventille which is considered to be a “Hot Spot” and a place that has negative connotations attached to it.