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CanadaHamilton mayor’s office dog sparks human rights complaint

03:50  06 june  2019
03:50  06 june  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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A City of Hamilton employee is accusing the mayor of making city hall “inaccessible” to her by bringing his pet dog to work. According to Creer, after complaining to her supervisor and discussing the issue with human resources staff, she filed a complaint against Eisenberger with the Ontario Human

Similar from the Web. Hamilton mayor ’ s office dog sparks human rights complaint . This development comes amid a human rights complaint launched over Mayor Fred Eisenberger bringing his dog , Dash, to city hall three days a week — a move that has sparked discussion online.

Hamilton mayor’s office dog sparks human rights complaint© John Rennison Mayor Fred Eisenberger's dog Dash inside Hamilton City Hall. Eisenberger has brought his golden doodle to work for the last three years, but a city employee says it is making city hall “inaccessible” to her.

A City of Hamilton employee is accusing the mayor of making city hall “inaccessible” to her by bringing his pet dog to work.

Susan Creer, who suffers from allergies and asthma, says Fred Eisenberger is taking advantage of his position by flouting the rules banning pets at city hall.

And she’s ramped up her concerns to a human rights complaint.

“I consider this a type of bullying,” says Creer.

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Hamilton mayor ’ s office dog sparks human rights complaint | The Star.

Susan Creer has accused Mayor Fred Eisenberger of making Hamilton City Hall inaccessible to her by bringing his dog , Dash, to work. Creer filed a human rights complaint last month and on Tuesday, she filed an integrity commissioner complaint .

For the last three years Eisenberger has brought his golden doodle named Dash to work where he’s given the run of the mayoral offices, which are glassed off from the rest of the public and private areas on the second floor.

According to Creer, after complaining to her supervisor and discussing the issue with human resources staff, she filed a complaint against Eisenberger with the Ontario Human Rights Commission in March, alleging discrimination and failure to accommodate her needs.

Creer, a part-time instructor in the recreation department, doesn’t work at city hall but periodically goes there to attend community meetings.

Besides her allergies, she’s also “a little afraid” of dogs. Creer recalls attending a public meeting in late 2017 where a dog was allegedly running loose around the public foyer, intimidating her.

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Eisenberger says his dog Dash is ‘most popular being’ at city hall, Andrew Dreschel writes. I have no problem accommodating people with severe allergies, if they have them, but I despise the language of 'bullying' and ' human rights ' and the tone of outraged self-pity that seems to develop around such

“I found out afterwards that the dog off its leash and scaring the wits out of me was Mayor Fred’s dog.”

She says her complaint to Eisenberger’s office was basically brushed off.

For his part, Eisenberger doesn’t recall the incident or Creer’s complaint. He notes that Dash, who is 3 years old now, comes to the office every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. At first when he was puppy, it was for convenience sake. Now Dash is part of the regular office crew.

“There are absolutely no issues and we take great pains to ensure he stays within the confines of our office. He actually uses a door that doesn’t require him to go through the lobby.”

According to Eisenberger, Dash’s presence creates a welcome break from routine and, like other pets, anecdotally has a calming effect on people.

“Certainly Dash is probably the most popular being in the building,” he says. “People miss him when he’s not here.”

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A City of Hamilton employee is accusing the mayor of making city hall “inaccessible” to her by bringing his pet dog to work. And she ’ s ramped up her concerns to a human rights complaint . “I consider this a type of bullying,” says Creer. For the last three years Eisenberger has brought his golden

Lawyer sparks workplace discrimination debate over Kamloops' new Teenie Bikini Bistro: St-Édouard Zoo ordered closed by Quebec' s workplace safety board Quebec' s workplace healt And she ’ s ramped up her concerns to a human rights complaint . “I consider this a type of bullying,” says Creer.

That may be, but Creer says the mayor should be setting a good example, not abusing his position to ignore city policy.

“No Pets” signs are clearly posted at city hall’s front and back entrances. And earlier this year Creer recalls seeing a security guard prevent an elderly woman from bringing her dogs inside.

Creer has no issue with service dogs that are trained to help people with disabilities. “I realize if it was a service dog, it would be (a question of) competing human rights over what takes precedence.”

Creer believes other city staff are frustrated that the mayor is getting away with breaking the rules, but are worried about potential repercussions if they complain.

Eisenberger notes that prior to the last election, staff was looking into modifying the ban to allow dogs into city buildings. He says that’s already informally happening in some city offices and so there’s a natural desire to formally change the policy.

Eisenberger doesn’t see himself as abusing his position as mayor, though he acknowledges he is bending the rules a bit.

“I don’t think I’m being egregious in this process. We’re taking great pains to make sure Dash is not a bother to anyone.”

Whether the Human Rights Commission takes up Creer’s complaint remains to be seen. Ditto whether the city relaxes its no-dogs-allowed policy. If it does, Eisenberger would also like it to include HSR buses.

But wait. If the city is going to relax the rules for dogs, what about cats? Why should they be left out in the bureaucratic cold?

“I think we can start with dogs and see where we go from there,” says Eisenberger.

Andrew Dreschel is a Hamilton-based columnist at The Hamilton Spectator. Reach him via email: adreschel@thespec.com

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