The British Columbia Court of Appeal has unanimously held that
the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal did not have
jurisdiction under the BC Human Rights Code to hear an age
discrimination complaint filed by a lawyer against a national law
firm – a limited liability partnership – in
which he was an equity partner.
As part of the law firm's partnership agreement, there was a
mandatory retirement age of 65. The partner filed a human rights
complaint on the basis that he was discriminated against by the
partnership on the basis of age. The Court of Appeal rejected the
argument that a partner could be "employed" for the
purposes of the BC Human Rights Code and found that there
was no "employment" relationship between the law firm and
its partner. As such, the partner could not advance a human rights
complaint that he was discriminated against in
The Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the Human Rights
Tribunal and the BC Supreme Court, both of which had held that the
partner was employed, for the purposes of the BC Human Rights
Code, and thus was entitled to advance the age
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