The ‘sincerely held’ component ensures that complaints are not made for ulterior reasons, such as a desire to procure more favourable working conditions." An employer’s obligation to accommodate employees’ religious needs is founded in section 13(1) of the B. Human Rights Code ("Code"), which reads as follows: 13.
(1) A person must not (a) refuse to employ or refuse to continue to employ a person, or (b) discriminate against a person regarding employment or any term or condition of employment because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or because that person has been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or to the intended employment of that person. In this case, Moore, a Roman Catholic probationary employee, refused to authorize medical coverage for a Ministry client who needed an abortion because of Moore's religious beliefs.
Author Russell Zinn says in The Law of Human Rights in Canada: Practice and Procedure (Aurora, Ont.
2004): "[S]o long as a complainant's beliefs are sincerely held and fall within the rubric of ‘religion’ broadly defined, the proceedings will move on to the next stage of inquiry.
The company could not prove that religion did not play a role in Myert's dismissal. The tribunal, however, does not decide in favour of the complainant in all religious discrimination complaints, especially when safety is an overriding concern. For more information about Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, please visit