A human rights board of inquiry has been adjourned and a complaint made by a Convergys call centre employee has been resolved.
The two parties worked together to reach an agreement that includes a financial settlement and training for staff.
“We are pleased the parties have been able to reach a collaborative resolution to the complaint,” said Nova Scotia Rights Commission CEO Tracey Williams.
In 2009, Clarence (Tom) Tynes, who is a black Nova Scotian, filed a complaint alleging that he was treated unfairly when he was demoted twice in quick succession. He worked 10 years with Convergys, who contended the demotions were not because of his race.
The Human Rights Commission worked with Mr. Tynes and Convergys and held meetings chaired by a restorative facilitator.
“They openly discussed their perceptions of what happened, and focused on understanding the circumstances that led to the complaint,” said Ms. Williams.
Convergys and Mr. Tynes agreed to a financial settlement and training for management and supervisors in the two Nova Scotia centres, New Glasgow and Dartmouth. They also developed a plan to address the issues.
“This approach was non-adversarial and that was very helpful,” said Mr. Tynes. “It was a collaborative process that created more opportunities for healing and progress.”
Legal counsel for the commission apologized to both parties for the length of time it took to resolve the complaint. The new processes the commission introduced in January 2012 focus on restorative, collaborative approaches and faster resolutions.
“What was taking years, is now taking months. Processing complaints more quickly is better for everyone involved,” said Ms. Williams. “One of the most important steps in the process is bringing everyone together to understand what happened and how to move forward.”
Board chair Lynn Connors, who was appointed to hear the inquiry, approved the resolution.