Complaint against prison won't be heard by tribunal
A former employee of Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre won't have her human-rights complaint heard by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
The tribunal released a decision this week (Sept. 28) in which it says Julie Van Koll's complaint against Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre should proceed through the usual grievance channels.
In November of 2010 and again in January 2011, Van Koll filed grievances with her then-employer, KRCC.
It is not known when she filed her complaint with the tribunal.
According to the tribunal decision, Van Koll alleged that "KRCC failed to accommodate her in her employment duties, despite a physical affliction and by terminating her short-term disability benefits."
In its response, KRCC said it offered Van Koll "available, accommodated employment, consistent with her physician's recommendations and the nature of her disability."
The jail further claimed Van Koll's benefits were suspended not because of her disability, but because she "declined to provide information regarding income from an alternate source while she was receiving disability benefits" — something that is not allowed under the province's collective agreement with its corrections staff.
KRCC asked the tribunal to defer the decision regarding Van Koll's complaint to the regular grievance process.
"KRCC says that, by virtue of its collective-bargaining agreement, Ms. Van Koll's human-rights complaint is incorporated in her grievances and they advance the same allegations which form the basis of the complaint," the decision reads.
Bernd Walter, the tribunal chair, decided to let Van Koll's matter proceed through the grievance process.
"I am of the view that the grievance proceedings in this case are capable of dealing with the substance of Ms. Van Koll's complaint," he said in the decision.
Van Koll, who lives in Merritt, was contacted by KTW, but wouldn't provide further comment.