University attempting to get settlement amount changed for one professor
Patti Wheatley, left, co-counsel with Murray Murphy, right, attend a Human Rights Commission hearing Wednesday with the university's comptroller, Tara Judson, centre.
A decision to force UPEI employees to retire is back before the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission as the university tries to get the settlement amount changed for one professor.
Thomy Nilsson was one of six employees who were forced to retire, which was a decision the human rights commission later ruled was discriminatory.
The commission ordered UPEI to pay settlements to Nilsson and the others, including for lost income.
A P.E.I. Supreme Court judge sent the issue back to the commission after a judicial review to re-hear the settlement for Nilsson, to see if he could have mitigated some of his financial losses by finding work after he retired.
During Wednesday's hearing before commissioner Lou Ann Thomson, UPEI sought to submit new evidence the university's lawyer Murray Murphy said wasn't available when a human rights panel held a hearing on the original complaint.
Murphy said Justice Ben Taylor, who heard the judicial review, didn't put any limitations on calling new evidence if Thomson chose to.
The issue at hand was whether or not the employees did enough to find work and offset their lost income while their human rights complaint was underway.
Nilsson's lawyer Karen Campbell said the university asked Nilsson to stay on after his retirement while the school looked for someone to replace him.
That was evidence that he mitigated some of the lost income, she said.
UPEI argued all of the complainants were in similar situations and their settlements should be considered when determining how much Nilsson should get in compensation.
Campbell disagreed and said the settlements for the other employees were personal decisions.
"It has absolutely no relevance whatsoever," she said.
Campbell also argued Taylor didn't say UPEI would be able to submit new evidence.
After hearing arguments from all sides Thomson adjourned for the day and the proceedings are set to resume Friday morning.