CP24 personality alleges ‘systemic pattern’ of discrimination in human rights claim against Bell Media

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A widely known Toronto tv personality has filed a human rights grievance against Bell Media, alleging “a systemic sample” of racism, sexism and discrimination, including that in her 11 years with the corporate, she was “handled as a token and a commodity.”

In a grievance filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission on Wednesday, Patricia Jaggernauth, a climate specialist, distant reporter and co-host for the Bell-owned information channel CP24, describes being repeatedly handed over for promotions and incomes lower than a dwelling wage.

Jaggernauth says she watched as white colleagues, typically newer ones, made it increased up the company ladder, whereas she wasn’t even supplied a contract — one thing she attributes to the truth that she is a racialized girl.

Part Guyanese and half Jamaican, Jaggernauth claims she was denied full-time steady employment and was as an alternative pressured to work weeks straight and not using a break day — an expertise she says landed her in hospital with pneumonia as a result of she felt she had no alternative however to place work forward of her well being. 

“I virtually died doing what I cherished as a result of a freelancer cannot say no. Every hour is bread, each hour is hire, each hour is that tank of gasoline,” mentioned Jaggernauth, who resigned from Bell Media final Tuesday.

In an e mail to CBC News, a Bell Media spokesperson mentioned, “We don’t touch upon issues involving present or former workers members, however can affirm that Bell Media takes allegations of any potential discrimination very severely, and are dedicated to a protected, inclusive, and respectful work surroundings the place workers can thrive. 

“If a matter is delivered to our consideration the place an worker didn’t really feel adequately supported, a course of is triggered to overview and handle when required.”

‘Good sufficient to fill in however by no means … to speculate in’

In an unique interview with CBC News, Jaggernauth broke her silence about her time at Bell.

At first, she mentioned, touchdown a job there felt like “a dream.”

WATCH | Patricia Jaggernauth speaks about working for years and not using a contract at Bell:

‘How come I used to be by no means sufficient?’

Journalist Patricia Jaggernauth alleges she was repeatedly handed up for job alternatives at CP24, leaving her struggling together with her psychological well being.

“I’m the lady dwelling in metro housing that obtained out. I’m the one which was by no means alleged to succeed,” she mentioned. “I knew that I cherished individuals, I cherished group, I cherished dialog … And the place I used to be working supplied that — however not ever on a contractual foundation, at all times as a fill-in.

“How come I’m at all times adequate to fill in however by no means adequate to speculate in?”

Jaggernauth says she was assured simply two days of work every week, and referred to as at random to fill in for hosts who have been off sick or away. With no certainty as to what her weeks would appear like, she says she relied on the flexibility to tackle different jobs to complement her earnings — one thing she had performed all through her time there.

This previous summer time, administration moved to restrict that capability, blocking her from performing any paid actions exterior of the corporate with out administration approval, in response to her formal grievance. The rule was initially created in 2019 when Bell workers unionized, however was by no means enforced till this yr, she says.

“Bell has performed this whereas on the similar time denying Ms. Jaggernauth promotions she has earned and is certified for, and whereas refusing to supply her with full-time work,” the grievance reads.

“At Bell, individuals of color are cynically used as tokens,” it provides.

Long days, quick turnarounds led to breakdown: grievance

Jaggernauth’s grievance comes on the heels of Bell Media’s latest dismissal of celebrated chief anchor Lisa LaFlamme, who mentioned she was “blindsided” when the corporate ended her contract at CTV National after greater than 30 years as half of a “enterprise determination.” The transfer triggered an uproar and in the times that adopted, CTV News government Michael Melling went on go away from the corporate.

In 2019, Jaggernauth says she contracted a virus and was hospitalized after “years of lengthy days, quick turnarounds, prolonged work stretches and being advised to work for weeks upon weeks, continuous.”

After a three-month unpaid sick go away, she says she pleaded with Bell for extra stability. What she was supplied, she says, was a part-time contract formalizing her two days of work per week and giving her entry to medical and dental advantages — with no extra shifts, no change to her wage and no capability to proceed freelancing exterior of Bell.

The grievance says the therapy Jaggernauth confronted led her to undergo “a breakdown” throughout the latest Bell Let’s Talk Day whereas dwell on the air. In the section, later posted to YouTube by CP24, 5 hosts open up about their psychological well being.

The final host to share is Jaggernauth, who speaks candidly about her private {and professional} struggles, together with the toll of working weekends for 11 years.

“I’m going to cry. Oh my God,” says in the section, tearing up. “In this trade what I’ve discovered is you get to be in the brilliant lights, you realize, right here you will have this superb profession and other people assume you are a multi-millionaire, you are so fortunate, however do you need to put my footwear on guys?”

Jaggernauth alleges none of her supervisors reached out on the time. 

The grievance says the therapy Jaggernauth confronted led her to undergo ‘a breakdown’ throughout Bell Let’s Talk Day whereas dwell on the air. In the section, posted to YouTube by CP24, 5 hosts open up about their psychological well being. (CP24/YouTube)

‘I’m strolling away and I’ll persevere’

It wasn’t till two weeks later when she reached out to her supervisor for assist {that a} therapist was supplied, she says. Ineligible for remedy by a advantages plan, Jaggernauth says she was lastly supplied a Bell-recommended therapist, however in the end says she did not really feel protected with the association and declined the assistance.

The grievance says Jaggernauth had repeated conversations with administration about her issues at Bell — issues she says weren’t taken severely. Among these she spoke to have been Melling and the corporate’s president, “nonetheless her complaints have been sidelined,” in response to the grievance.

Bell Media workers are half of a union, nonetheless given settlements between employers and unions are sometimes stored secret by non-disclosure agreements, Jaggernauth says she felt a human rights grievance was the easiest way ahead.

A grievance on the fee cannot solely outcome in fee of denied wages but in addition financial damages for alleged discrimination. It may pressure coverage modifications reminiscent of pay fairness, says Jaggernauth’s lawyer Kathryn Marshall of the agency Levitt Sheikh.

Jaggernauth says for her, the grievance goes past cash — it is also about demanding change for ladies who appear like her in the trade and for ladies general.

As for her subsequent steps, she says, “I got here from hardship. I persevered. I began this profession with hardship and I persevered, and I’m strolling away and I’ll persevere.”

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