Babysitter drops human rights complaint against children’s father

EDMONTON — A legal advocacy group says an Edmonton man has dropped a human rights complaint against a single father who did not hire him as a babysitter for his two boys.

James Cyrynowski had alleged that the father discriminated against him based on his age and gender.

The northern director of the Alberta Human Rights Commission had urged Cyrynowski earlier this month to drop the complaint.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the father, had argued that there was no reasonable basis to go ahead with the accusation.

A second complaint by Cyrynowski alleging a mother of three discriminated against him based on his family status is still active.

The director of the human rights commission has recommended that complaint also be dropped.

The complaint against the father was filed two years ago when he did not hire Cyrynowski after he answered an ad the dad had placed on Kijiji looking for a babysitter to care for his five- and eight-year-old boys.

The justice centre wrote two letters in August to the human rights commission on the parents’ behalf.

The one supporting the father said he had asked Cyrynowski his age, gender and where he lived. Cyrynowski answered he was 28, male and from Edmonton.

The centre said the father’s plans fell through so he didn’t pursue further contact with Cyrynowski, nor did Cyrynowski follow up with him, but filed a complaint the next day.

In the second letter, the justice centre said the mother had asked Cyrynowski about his employment status and whether he had any children of his own. She also requested references.

Cyrynowski sent her a text outlining his experience and credentials, which included an early child development certificate, a criminal record check and nine years of experience caring for kids. To her question about whether he had any children of his own, he replied,”Not yet.”

The centre said she hired a babysitter who lived in her neighbourhood and worked close to her children’s daycare. It said she did not follow up with Cyrynowski or with anyone else who had responded to her Kijiji ad online.

Cyrynowski did not make any attempt to follow up with her, the centre said, and filed a complaint against her in April.

In his complaint, he stated: “I applied for a caregiver job on Kijiji. I was asked if I have children. I do not. I did not get the job.”

Human rights commissions and tribunals are susceptible to abuse and need reform, justice centre lawyer Marty Moore said Monday in a release.

“The Alberta Human Rights Commission and the Alberta legislature need to take action to prevent parents from being dragged through these legal processes by bogus complaints.”

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