PSAC applauds the Federal Court of Canada’s decision to move forward with hearing dates for the Black Class Action lawsuit despite attempts by the government’s lawyers to delay the proceedings.
The federal government had requested to delay the certification hearings scheduled for September 21-23, claiming the Black Class Action overlaps with other ongoing class action suits, including the Indigenous Class Action lawsuit launched by federal public workers in September.
The legal team for the Black Class Action said the government’s argument that all cases of discrimination can be lumped together was “insulting” and that their lawsuit specifically focuses on the hiring and promotion of Black public service workers.
Associate Chief Justice Jocelyne Gagné agreed that there is no substantial overlap between the Black Class Action and other class action lawsuits regarding systemic discrimination in the federal public service, and hearings should proceed on a “case by case basis.”
Lawyers will present their final arguments on the issue March 26.
“Clearly, the federal government just isn’t getting it,” said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC’s National Executive Vice-President. “On one hand, they claim to want to address systemic racism in the federal public service, but on the other they think there’s a one-size-fits-all approach to eliminating discrimination and oppression.”
PSAC strongly supports the 1,293 plaintiffs of the Black Class Action (BCA) lawsuit, many of them PSAC members and union activists, and is supporting this historic legal action by seeking intervener status.
Our union has also met with the legal team from the Indigenous Class Action lawsuit and plans to support their class action as it moves ahead.
If you identify as Black, Caribbean, or of African descent and currently work or have worked for the federal government in the past 50 years, you are eligible to join the class action.