McGregory Jackman, a newly hired bus driver for York Region’s VIVA transit system, said he was humiliated when an inspector with his contractor, Veolia Transportation Inc., sent him home for donning the kufi at work.
“Just having to walk off the bus by someone telling you you can’t work because of your religious conviction, that was tearing me apart right then and there,” said the 43-year-old father of two, who was suspended for a week without pay.
York Region Transit general manager Don Gordon said Mr. Jackman will be back at work tomorrow, and be compensated for his time off, after discussions today between YRT and Veolia Transportation Inc.
“Mr. Jackman will be permitted to wear his kufi while driving our buses,” he said.
Until now, YRT employees who wanted religious accommodation for their clothing had to get a written statement from religious leaders to prove their faith.
That policy will be revised, Mr. Gordon said. “I believe that the individual can make the request and supply the documentation and it does not necessarily have to come from a cleric ... Our guide is the Ontario Human Rights Code,” he said.