A native woman who was fired from the civil service has received the largest compensation payment ever granted to a federal employee.
Mary Pitawankwat, 44, said her firing was due to racism and recently accepted $200,000 in compensation from the Heritage Ministry. Pitawanakwat, who was fired in 1986, will also get seven months paid vacation and sick leave. She recently went back to her job in the civil service, but has just learned that she has breast cancer.
Pitawanakwat was hired in 1979 to work for a federal office in Regina. She was told her work was satisfactory, but she soon started having problems with her superiors and filed a complaint of sexual and racial harassment in 1984.
In 1992, the Canadian Human Rights Commission released a report that criticized the government and accorded Pitawankwat two years’ back pay. The government was also ordered to offer her another job in another province. But last April, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that she should have been allowed to keep her job in Regina and ordered the government to increase the amount of her compensation.