Migrant worker in Leamington awarded $23K in damages
St. Lucia native fired for speaking up after supervisor called workers 'monkeys'
Ontario's human rights tribunal has ordered a migrant worker to be paid $23,500 in damages after ruling he suffered racial abuse while working at a greenhouse in Leamington, Ont.
The tribunal found that Adrian Monrose, a St. Lucian migrant worker who came to Canada under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program in 2009, was subjected to racist slurs while working for Double Diamond Acres Ltd.
The tribunal found Monrose was fired and sent back to St. Lucia shortly after complaining about the racist comments he received from a supervisor.
"It saddens me to see that we live in one of the best countries in the world and we've been treated in that form," said Monrose, 38, who now lives in West Windsor with his wife and her daughter.
Monrose returned to Canada in 2010, he says solely to make this complaint.
"I think the government of Canada should intervene," he said, "and talk to those people who have been mistreated."
"Some [migrant workers] cannot even talk because they're scared of losing their jobs."
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.