The BC Human Rights Tribunal has ordered a British Columbia couple who fired a caregiver after she received a cancer diagnosis to compensate her with over $45,000.
The ruling, which was filed in late March, concluded that the couple, Yoshiko and Yoshiki Shimmura, had discriminated against the caregiver Marites Bayongan due to her disability.
The compensation totalled $45,780 and was a result of lost wages, expenses, and injury to her dignity, feelings, and self-respect.
The ruling also concluded that the Shimmuras were “supportive and empathetic” towards Bayongan, but the termination “resulted in significant hardship to Ms. Bayongan, as a temporary foreign worker struggling with cancer.”
The Shimmuras will also be liable for pre-and post-judgment interest on the wage loss until the amount has been paid in full.
Bayongan moved to Canada from the Philippines where she was a stay-at-home parent to her five children. She sought out work after her husband passed away in order to provide for her family. Bayongan found work in British Columbia as a caregiver through Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
She had worked for the Shimmuras since 2018 but stopped once she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in November 2020. The Shimmuras told Bayongan that she needed to focus on her recovery and subsequently terminated her employment while also refusing to extend her work permit.
She was declared cancer-free in May of 2021 and had found employment later that year, according to CTV News.