Canada is known as a country that is accepting of others – a cultural mosaic made up of different languages and cultures. We also strive to make our workplaces reflect this diversity.
But the problem of Islamophobia has become an issue in Canada, both inside and outside of the workplace.
The most recent example took place in Alberta when Amino Rashid was fired from her oilsands job with Newcast Contracting Inc, a subcontractor of Husky.
She said she and two other colleagues were fired after complaining about an incident of Islamophobia. She has issued a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
The energy company has launched an inquiry, saying that it requires all of its contractors ‘to comply with its workplace diversity policy.’
“Given the seriousness of these allegations, we will be investigating with the contractor to ensure all of Husky’s policies and procedures were being followed,” spokesperson Mel Duvall wrote to CBC News.
Islamophobia isn’t just an Alberta problem, it has been an issue across Canada.
According to Statistics Canada the number of police-reported anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped by 60 per cent in 2015.
So what can be done in the workplace for anyone who is facing Islamophobia or any type of discrimination?
First, make sure you document what is happening. Keep a written record of any incidents of discrimination you or your coworkers face in the workplace. Make sure the descriptions are detailed and include names, dates and times, and be sure to keep it somewhere safe and secure.
Also, tell someone in the workplace that you trust about what is happening. If you are unionized, reach out to a Shop Steward – they are your union representative in the workplace. They are there to make sure your rights are protected on the job.
Unions have fought hard against all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including Islamophobia. No matter your race, religion or gender, you always deserve rights at your place of work and shouldn’t have to worry about losing your job.
Canadians pride themselves on being a country that is diverse and open to all cultures. As incidents of Islamophobia rise, we need to all do our part to show that we will not accept this kind of hate in the workplace or anywhere in society.