Chris Garner, who worked for Scotiabank for over 35 years, is a friend of mine. For the past 11 years he managed the Lacewood Branch in Halifax, NS and during this time he also managed the Fairview Branch, Halifax, NS for 3 years until he grew the book enough for the Bank to dedicate a full-time manager. He was well liked by his team and was very involved in volunteering for his community.
This past year Chris challenged Scotiabank with Age Discrimination after he was told by Peter Bessey, Senior Vice President for the Atlantic Region (at the time) that it was not so much the number of years behind a person but more so the number of years left ahead of a person and was denied an interview for 2 positions. He was 58 at the time he was told this.
Chris was fired on September 8, 2011 for coming forward with his complaint to Scotiabank. Scotiabank released an email the following day to managers in his region saying that Chris "chose" to leave after 34 years and that his position would be posted on Monday. Chris was told that if he did not withdraw his lawsuit that he would be fired and he was. It was not a choice!
Below is a link to the stories that have appeared in the Financial Post and to a podcast of an interview on Halifax 95.7 Maritime Morning. In the update section are PDF files of the stories in the Halifax Chronical Herald.
I urge all of you to sign the petition as it affects us too as we are all getting older; however, that should not prevent us from advancing in our careers. Chris is standing up for all of us.
Please, do your part for him by signing the petition and forwarding it to ALL your friends, family, and colleagues. We need to stand up for our rights.
- Scotiabank Canada
What you have done to Chris Garner flies in the face of decency. Age should not come in to play when consideration is made for promotion; indeed, by law, it can not! Yet you have chosen to punish Mr. Garner for standing up for his legal rights.
Shame on you! Do the right thing and stop this practice, and do what is right by Chris Garner.
Scotiabank has a clear choice: admit there is a problem with promotional practices and take active steps to correct this problem, or fight. The first choice does not have to reflect badly on the bank. Admitting a mistake and taking corrective action is generally regarded as a good news story. Trying to crush a citizen for standing up for their rights, on the other hand, not so much.
on behalf of the signatories.
Robert Graham started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,856 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.