The ruling reinstates a B.C. firefighter who lost her job when, after working for three years, she failed a fitness test by 49 seconds that required her to run 2.5 km in 11 minutes.
The unanimous decision found that there was no credible evidence to prove the 11-minute benchmark was necessary for firefighters men or women to perform their duties safely and efficiently.
The court ruled that the B.C. government could not justify the fitness standard it had set, and there was no proof that the government couldnt implement a different standard. The court also found that the fitness test discriminated against women as a group, setting a fitness requirement that most women could not achieve even with training.
This is good news for women and other CUPE members fighting discrimination on the job. For years women have faced unfair and unjustifiable tests that barred them from entering male-dominated occupations. This ruling strengthens CUPEs case when we go to bat for members fighting for their human rights.