Former worker awarded nearly $65,000 for forced retirement

Nova Scotia school board discriminated against 65-year-old employee: Tribunal

Nova Scotia's French-language school board must pay a former employee almost $65,000 for forcing him to retire, a human rights tribunal has ordered.

At age 65, Robert Theriault was forced to retire from his job as co-ordinator of operations for the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial in 2005. He filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, claiming age discrimination.

Inquiry chair Don Murray ruled last fall in Theriault's favour. The compensation amount, $64,515.07, was announced on Nov. 25, 2009 and includes amounts for lost income and general damages.

In the tribunal's decision, Murray accepted Theriault's claims he was "crushed" by what happened.

"His mandatory retirement by the CSAP deprived him of the dignity of being involved in the choosing of the time of his retirement. Mr. Theriault was deprived of the ability to participate in a decision about a significant and central part of his life," wrote Murray.

Earlier this year, the province passed legislation banning mandatory retirement.

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