Fired for death threat complaint: paramedic
A former employee of Island EMS on P.E.I. says she lost her job after complaining about a co-worker who was convicted for uttering death threats against her.
Kelly Linden has made a complaint of sexual discrimination to the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.
Linden began working as a paramedic on P.E.I. in 2005. The next year Island EMS hired Sean James Michael Clarke as a paramedic and Linden alleges he began harassing her. In March 2007 she complained to the company about Clarke, and filed a complaint with RCMP, saying he had sent her text messages that contained death threats against her. He later pleaded guilty to uttering death threats and was convicted in 2008.
But Clarke made a counter-complaint to the company, saying Linden had harassed him and had created a poisonous work environment. He and Linden were both fired.
Greg Howard, executive director of the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission, said Island EMS is arguing that Linden was dismissed because there had been previous concerns about her work.
"What she's saying is if that was the reason she was being dismissed, that she wasn't a good employee, then she should have been dismissed before the harassment issue came up," said Howard.
"She says because she's a woman, and had filed this complaint against this male employee, the employer has targeted her because of her gender."
Island EMS is owned by Medavie EMS, which holds the contract for ambulance service across the Maritimes. Linden says that effectively locks her out of working as a paramedic anywhere in the region.
She is looking for compensation for lost wages and wants her job back.
A human rights panel will hear the case in November.
Neither Linden nor Island EMS could be reached for an interview on this story.