Executive director Joan Goosen (left) and Tracy Kucey at PEARL Life Renewal Society’s Chilliwack centre. A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal compaint against PEARL by a former employee has been withdrawn. (Progress file)

Human rights complaint against Chilliwack non-profit withdrawn

Human Rights Tribunal no longer has hearing scheduled for former PEARL Life Renewal Society employee

A human rights complaint against a Chilliwack non-profit agency has been withdrawn, ending a dispute going back more than two years.

Virigina Pineda started working for PEARL Life Renewal Society in September 2017, but was either fired or quit in January 2018 after a performance review. The parties disputed why she left.

PEARL Life helps women transition out of prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation with a Christian focus.

Pineda claimed she was discriminated against based on a mental disability contrary to the Human Rights Code. She was hired as a co-ordinator and claims she told PEARL’s executive director Joan Goosen about her psychological conditions.

It was agreed that Pineda was taking medication for her psychological conditions, and also agreed that she received positive feedback during her employment. Goosen, however, said Pineda was not a “good fit” “because she had a negative attitude towards her work and Ms. Goosen.”

Pineda insists she was terminated, and filed the complaint against PEARL alleging the non-profit discriminated against her in employment based on a mental disability.

Prior to a hearing before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT), PEARL ruled in August against the Society’s application to dismiss the complaint.

• READ MORE: Human Rights Tribunal rules against Chilliwack non-profit

Recently, however, Goosen was told the complaint was withdrawn.

“The discrimination complaint against PEARL Life Renewal, filed by Ms. Pineda, has been withdrawn by her and resolved with no admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of PEARL Life Renewal,” Goosen said via email.

When asked for details, the registrar said for privacy reasons details on the specific complaint could not be confirmed.

“Please note that most of the complaints made to the Tribunal are resolved by settlement through a private mediation process,” Tribunal registrar Steven Adamson said in an email. “Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm or deny that the case you reference was settled by the parties for reasons related to their privacy.”

The hearing, however, is no longer on the BCHRT’s schedule.

• READ MORE: PEARL earns strong support from Chilliwack politicians

• READ MORE: Pearl Life Renewal Society hosts annual fundraiser to help get Chilliwack’s women off the streets

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