An ex-City of Nanaimo senior manager says he has submitted a human rights complaint against his former employer, claiming that his rights were violated and that he was fired without cause.
Brad McRae, former chief operations officer, told the News Bulletin that he filed a human rights complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal on Friday morning, accusing the city of violating his human rights by holding a termination hearing without him being present and then firing him without cause.
McRae, who was fired while on medical leave in January, said he’s asking the tribunal to declare that his rights were violated and that he should be reinstated as chief operations officer with the city.
“My rights were violated under both the human rights code and the community charter, by the city holding a termination hearing in my absence after I was not cleared medically to attend,” McRae said in a prepared statement.
According to the community charter, as an officer with the city, McRae was permitted to have a hearing in front of city councillors regarding any changes to his employment status and could not be dismissed without at least two-thirds majority vote by councillors. However, McRae was technically not an employee of council, therefore any recommendation calling for his termination would have come from the city manager, who, under the community charter, is considered to be council’s only employee.
Following McRae’s termination, city chief administrative officer Tracy Samra acknowledged that the COO had been on leave but did not provide any explanation for the decision to fire him. Instead, she told the News Bulletin then that his responsibilities with the city changed to public safety in September 2017, but she elected to to leave his title as chief operations officer.
“I didn’t rename his title to director of public safety,” she said.
McRae has hired employment lawyer Fred Wynne, from the Vancouver-based law firm HHBG Lawyers. Wynne could not be reached for comment.
McRae said he cannot provide additional comments about his case against the city other than what he said in his prepared statement, explaining that he was acting on the advice of his lawyer.