BLACK CLASS ACTION

ABOUT THE CLAIM

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the Federal Court of Canada on behalf of Black federal employees. The lawsuit is seeking long-term solutions to permanently address systemic racism and discrimination in the Public Service of Canada.

This action concerns systemic racism in the Public Service of Canada, directed at self-identifying Black individuals who work for or with the Public Service of Canada – this includes current employees and those who have been employed within the past 50 years. Damages include the wrongful failure to promote, intentional infliction of mental suffering, constructive dismissal, wrongful termination, negligence, and in particular, violations of employment law, human rights law, and Charter breaches.

As a result of systemic discrimination, Canada has failed to achieve equality in the workplace, such that no person shall be denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability. In the fulfillment of the goal of workplace equality, Canada has failed to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by Black Canadians. See the FAQ questions on eligibility. 

Image of representative plaintiff Nicholas Marcus Thompson

WHAT WE ARE SEEKING

We are seeking long-term solutions to permanently address systemic racism and discrimination in the public service of Canada.

COMPENSATION FUND

Establishment of a fund to address the psychological, pain and suffering and financial losses of both past and present Black employees, within the past 50 years.

EXTERNAL REPORTING MECHANISM

The federal government shall establish a mechanism to ensure that Black employees in the public service have access to an external and independent body to report harassment or misconduct. This body should have the power to investigate and make binding recommendations.

EQUITABLE REPRESENTATION

The Federal Government shall adopt a policy whereby the number of Black employees in the Federal public service is at a minimum reflective of the percentage of Black people in the general population that is 3.8%. This includes representation at all levels.

BLACK EQUITY COMMISSION

The federal government shall appoint a Black Equity Commission to serve as the central coordinating entity to carry out an investigation of the challenges facing Black employees as well as the power to implement solutions and hold all Government entities accountable. The Commission will also provide a strategy for the development of a “Diversity Lens” model for the public service as it relates to the hiring and promotion of Black employees. The Commission will also be tasked with creating a framework for present and past Black employees to have their stories and voices heard with the goal of providing recommendations to address historic injustices and eradicate systemically racist practices.

SELF-DECLARATION

The federal government shall amend the self-declaration of ‘Visible Minority’ to create a separate category for Black employees.

APOLOGY

The Prime Minister of Canada shall issue a formal apology to all present and past Black employees of the Public Service for the injustices suffered in the past.