Sunday, January 12, 2014

Practical Restaurant Operation versus Ephemeral Human Rights

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has once again muddied the waters of reason in awarding $100,000 to disgruntled employees (December 18, 2013).

This award was based in part on the dismissal of an employee for refusing to taste the food he had made. The food pork, the employee Muslim.

An employer cannot refuse to hire due to one's religion.  What if the prospective employee's beliefs render him unqualified for the job?  Is it unreasonable to expect the head chef to taste the food from his own kitchen?  Does this conviction give prospective employees the right to be hired along with the right to set the menu?

To accommodate the chef's beliefs, say, the employer appoints a non-Muslim taster.  Should the latter prove wrong, who is reprimanded, the taster or the chef responsible for the meal's creation?

At human rights trials, the accused is presumed guilty and must prove innocence.  He must pay for his defence, while the costs of the accuser are borne by the taxpayer.  If awards were paid into general revenue, rather than being a cash cow for for the disgruntled, tribunal workloads would decline dramatically.

An e-mail of December 20, 2013 to the Toronto Star expressing these view was not published.

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