Migrant worker in Kingsville receives $23,500 in damages in human rights abuse case
The reward of $23,500 was a minor victory for a St. Lucian migrant worker who says he suffered racial abuse while working at a greenhouse in Kingsville.
Adrian Monrose says his employer, Double Diamond Acres Ltd., called him a "monkey on a branch" along with other racial slurs.
Ontario's Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Monrose be paid $23,500 in damages.
He says more importantly the tribunal's decision will encourage other workers to stand up against abuse.
“I’m happy with the decision,” says Monrose. “What happened to me should never ever happen to no human being ever again.”
The tribunal found that Monrose, who came to Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in 2009, was subjected to racist slurs while working for Double Diamond Acres.
“I’m really hurt,” says Monrose. “It really affects me because I see the way they treat the other guys also.”
The tribunal found Monrose was fired and sent back to St. Lucia shortly after complaining about the racist comments he received from a supervisor.
Monrose's lawyer Shane Martinez says the St. Lucian native filed a human rights complaint with the help of a not-for-profit activist group for migrant workers.
Monrose has been awarded $5,500 in lost wages, $3,000 for damage to his dignity, feelings and self-respect and $18,000 for the violation of his right to be free from reprisal.
Martinez says the decision is a signal to the government that action is needed to address human rights abuses against migrant workers.
With files from The Canadian Press