Not if you’re a lawyer, probably, but certainly if you work for Banana Republic. Andrea Shettleworth, a sales associate at BR, was disciplined by her employer for bossing around her colleagues on the sales floor and yelling at them, hogging sales, giving away unauthorised discounts and working off the clock (that is, punching out for a break but working through it). Shettleworth received several warnings about her behaviour and was dismissed after the final one. She filed a human rights complaint, alleging that BR’s monitoring and disciplinary action were based on her racial origin and were a reprisal for her claims, while still employed, that the employer had failed to deal adequately with an alleged assault on her by a co-worker. (Who’d have thought that folding sweaters created such workplace tensions?)

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal dismissed Shettleworth’s application: Shettleworth v GAP (Canada) Inc, 2013 HRTO 17. She had not established that the company’s rules about discounts and working off the clock were applied inconsistently. It was, moreover, important for the employer to enforce rules about hours of work in light of its potential liability under the Employment Standards Act if it failed to do so. The evidence showed that the termination of Shettleworth’s employment resulted not from her complaint about the alleged assault but because she was in breach of the clear instructions in the final warning she had received.

[Link available here].