An independent human rights board of inquiry will begin hearing testimony in a complaint from a Brookfield woman who claims she was fired from her job because she was pregnant. Coralyn Fleck had been working for Ashton’s Salon and Day Spa in Truro for two years when she was terminated in June 2004. In May 2004 she informed her co-workers and supervisor that she was pregnant and would need to take regular breaks as part of her schedule. She expressed concern about her bookings after this because time was not being allowed for the breaks. On June 7, 2004, Ms. Fleck was admitted to hospital and suffered a miscarriage after which her doctor placed her on bed rest for a week. After informing her employer of the doctor’s instructions, she received a termination letter on June 9, 2004. The hearing is being chaired by David J. MacDonald. The board will begin hearing evidence on Wednesday, May 24, at 9:30 a.m. at the Best Western Glengarry Hotel, 150 Willow St. in Truro. The hearing is scheduled to continue on Thursday, May 25. A complaint is referred to an independent board of inquiry when the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case of discrimination is made after an investigation by a human rights officer. The chief judge of the provincial court selects a board chair from a roster and the commissioners ratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then in the hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during investigation of a complaint is presented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. The complainant and respondent can make submissions and question witnesses. The board chair then decides whether discrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiry to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.
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