News : Training to Follow Racism Complaint
Oct 15, 2013 -- Convergys call centre employees in Nova Scotia will be getting new training after a racism complaint against the company was resolved.
Clarence (Tom) Tynes, a black Nova Scotian, worked for Convergys for 10 years.
He filed a complaint in 2009 alleging unfair treatment by the company when he was demoted twice in a 90-day span, he said.
Convergys denied that the demotions were related to Tynes’s race. But after a resolution process overseen by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, Tynes will receive a financial settlement, according to a commission news release.
Convergys, headquartered in Ohio, has also committed to training management and supervisors in its call centres in New Glasgow and Dartmouth. The deadline to deliver the one-time training is Jan. 31, Tynes said.
Tynes said he was bound by the terms of the settlement not to reveal the financial award, and Convergys could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The company and Tynes worked collaboratively in meetings chaired by a restorative facilitator, the release said.
"They openly discussed their perceptions of what happened, and focused on understanding the circumstances that led to the complaint," said Tracey Williams, the commission’s chief executive.
Tynes said he liked that the approach was "non-adversarial." But he also said it could be frustrating to deal with Convergys, which refused to settle for several years while he continued to work for the company.
The two parties reached a resolution in late May, just before they would have given up on the collaborative approach and been sent to a different kind of process.
A commission board of inquiry oversaw Tynes’s complaint, and its chairwoman, Lynn Connors, approved the resolution.
The commission has focused lately on collaborative approaches, it said. New processes are dramatically speeding things up. Cases that would have taken years are now taking months, Williams said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, October 18, 2013