Would you hire a woman in her 50s as a Toronto Police officer?
55-year-old Theresa Doherty believes her age played a big role in the police force’s decision not to hire her after a three year application process, which is why she’s filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Doherty was 51 when she successfully passed an initial job interview in 2011.
In addition to passing physical and psychological testing, the frustrated mother of six has earned an honours degree from Trent University in sociology, participated in over 40 ride-alongs with Peterborough OPP, is vice-chair of a policing committee, and has also served as auxiliary officer with the OPP.
It wasn’t until 2014 that a Toronto police background officer asked her during a spring recruiting class, “how old are you?”
Years down the road, her application was declined due to hiring cuts, her lack of employment over the last 14 years, and the fact that there were “other excellent qualified candidates.”
Doherty is accusing the Toronto Police of discriminating against her because of her age, and systematically lying to her about her standing in the hiring process.
The province’s Human Rights Code explains that an employer cannot refuse to hire, train or promote people because of age.
The Toronto Star’s Jim Rankin notes here that of the 388 Toronto Police recruits hired between December 2013 and April 2016, zero were in their 50s.