An independent board of inquiry has awarded more than $60,000 to a Nova Scotia man who was forced to retire by his employer.

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Inquiry announced a reward of $64,515 to Robert Theriault of Meteghan, Digby Co. for financial losses and damages. Theriault was forced into retirement from the Acadian school board, where he worked as the coordinator of operations responsible for maintenance.

A Human Rights Commission release stated the board unfairly treated Mr. Theriault when it forced him to retire in 2005 at the age of 65. In his ruling, board chair Don Murray accepted that Theriault “felt betrayed, bitter, disillusioned, upset and frustrated by his forced retirement,” the release said.


Commission CEO Krista Daley told Metro yesterday the school board had no policy in place in regards to a set retirement age, so the inquiry determined Theriault should have been allowed to keep working even though the normal age of retirement is seen by most as 65.

“What this board of inquiry said was that no, there was no agreement in place to do that and therefore it was unlawful in that sense,” Daley said.

“I’m very pleased," she added. “I think people’s right to continue to work until they’re unable to is a very important human right. The age of 65 is more an arbitrary age and should more depend on a person’s desire to continue working, need to continue working and their ability to continue working.”

Theriault filed the complaint with the provincial human rights commission and the case had been ongoing since September of last year.

Boards of inquiry are the final stage in the human rights process.

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