The courts have long recognized that human rights legislation must be interpreted broadly and generously but, in some cases, it can be surprising just how far the arm of human rights law extends. In its recent decision in McCormick v. Fasken Martineau Dumoulin1, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found that even an equity partner in a law firm may be considered an “employee” under human rights law.
Mr. McCormick is a lawyer and one of approximately 60 “equity partners” in the Vancouver office of Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP (“Fasken”). Fasken operates as a limited liability partnership, registered under the Partnership Act. All of Fasken’s equity partners, including Mr. McCormick, are parties to a partnership agreement. The partnership agreement includes requirements for equity partners to retire after the age of 65. The partnership agreement also states that equity partners, like Mr. McCormick, have an ownership interest in the firm.
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