Published: 06:55 EST, 11 December 2019 | Updated: 10:20 EST, 11 December 2019
A former employee of a major Canadian bank who claims he was told he had 'no hope' of a promotion because he was straight is to have his discrimination complaint reassessed, a federal court has ruled.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission had previously dismissed Aaren Jagadeesh's claim that he faced discrimination at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Toronto due to his sexual orientation as a straight man.
Mr Jagadeesh, who was turned down for multiple promotions, stated that he was told by his boss to join a 'group' of gay and bisexual men in the office as only they would get promoted.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission had previously dismissed Aaren Jagadeesh's claim that he faced discrimination at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in Toronto due to his sexual orientation as a straight man
Madam Justice Janet M. Fuhrer ruled in Federal Court that the Commission had wrongly dismissed the employee's complaint and ordered a new investigation and reassessment.
In court last month Mr Jagadeesh described how in a one-on-one meeting on September 15 2015 his boss told him that every male manager in the office was gay or bisexual, and that there was 'no hope' of him becoming a manager unless he joined this 'group'.
The employee claims the boss then told him to 'be smart and learn' after explaining that sexual orientation was the reason why young male employees with little experience were promoted ahead of him.
Mr Jagadeesh claims male employees were 'sexually exploited' in order to gain the promotions they wanted.
He explained how the incident impacted his 'mental stress and self-dignity'.
After receiving a disability diagnosis of muscle tension dysphonia several months into his job, which caused the employee pain in his throat and vocal chords, Mr Jagadeesh was told by a doctor to take medical breaks from his role as a telephone sales representative.
The job required Mr Jagadeesh to speak to 60 to 70 customers a day for less than 30 seconds each in order to hit 'adherence targets' - meaning his medical breaks made this impossible.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce fired Mr Jagadeesh on May 10, 2016, after the workplace refused to accommodate his disability, the defendant claimed.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce claims Mr Jagadeesh was fired due to being unqualified.
Mr Jagadeesh claims he was discriminated against for his straight sexual orientation and his disability - he applied for 17 other roles within the company but was turned down, he claims.
The job required Mr Jagadeesh to speak to 60 to 70 customers a day for less than 30 seconds each in order to hit 'adherence targets'
He claims the one-on-one meeting with his manager revealed the true reason for his discrimination - his sexual orientation.
The manager in question is now on 'extended leave of absence', reports National Post.
Mr Jagadeesh's complaints were first dismissed last November by The Canadian Human Rights Commission after an investigator refused to go forward with his allegations of discrimination due to being straight and concluded that the company had accommodated his disability.
Crystal Jongeward, a senior consultant of public affairs for the bank told National Post: 'While we are unable to comment as the matter is still before the commission, no form of harassment or discrimination is acceptable at our bank.'
Mr Jagadeesh represented himself in his appeal to the Federal Court, claiming the previous investigation ignored key evidence proving discrimination against his sexual orientation.
The court ruled the initial investigation had not followed procedure and ruled for it to be reopened with a different investigator.
Mr Jagadeesh was awarded $3,332.30 (£2,534.06) from CIBC for the time and expenses incurred in his appeal.