Skip to content

B.C. union told 19-year-old film caterer he was too young

Justin Tambour alleged Teamsters Local Union No. 155 denied him entry into B.C.'s catering workforce in the film industry because he was too young.
Film and TV
A B.C. union's attempt to have a young caterer's attempt to have an age discrimination complaint dismissed has been denied.

B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal has rejected a film union’s attempt to stop a 19-year-old caterer’s age discrimination complaint.

Justin Tambour filed the complaint on Aug. 13, 2020 alleging that Teamsters Local Union No. 155 denied him entry into the catering workforce in the film industry based on his age, tribunal member Jonathan Chapnick said in a Jan. 26 decision.

Tambour said when he applied to become a “permittee caterer,” Local 155 denied his application and told him that the minimum age for entry was 21. At the time, Tambour was 19 years old.

Local 155 represents caterers and other workers in the film industry who work under a collective agreement negotiated by the B.C. Council of Film Unions, of which Local 155 is a constituent union.

The union said the age standard is for safety and other reasons and its decision to decline Tambour’s application was made in good faith and was supported by a legal opinion from its lawyers.

And, said the union, Tambour suffered no loss as a consequence of its decision to decline his application, because, at the time, the film industry was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The union said when the shutdown was lifted, Tambour obtained catering work and was subsequently accepted as a permittee caterer in October 2020.

Tambour, however, said after the shutdown ended but before his eventual acceptance into the permittee program that October, Local 155 denied him access to certain caterer work opportunities in the film industry.

Chapnick said Tambour’s evidence also suggested that being denied entry into the permittee program was an adverse impact — regardless of whether lost work opportunities followed.

He said Local 155’s denial of his application “negatively affected his morale and confidence and caused him stress and anxiety, which resulted in him delaying his second year of Red Seal training and second guessing his career plans.”

Chapnick said he was unable to conclude that Local 155 was “reasonably certain to prove at a hearing that the minimum age standard was adopted for a rational purpose.”

Chapnick said the union had not established Tambour’s complaint had no reasonable prospect of success and denied its application to dismiss the complaint.