New Discrimination Ombudsperson
The Law Society is pleased to announce that, as of May 1, Anne Bhanu Chopra will become Discrimination Ombudsperson for the Society.
Ms. Chopra is a former lecturer at the University of Alberta and human resources manager who brings with her experience in diversity and anti-discrimination issues in policy and workplace settings. She practised human rights, family and labour law in Alberta before moving to B.C. in 1996 and is a member of both provincial bars. She is also the author of the book Beyond the Mirror: Seeing Ourselves As We Are.
As Discrimination Ombudsperson, Ms. Chopra will be available part-time to:
- receive complaints of discrimination or harassment based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, disability or age from lawyers, articled students and support staff working for legal employers, provide information to those persons and discuss alternative solutions for their complaints;
- locate a mediator to resolve a complaint informally in a private setting, with the consent of both a complainant and the lawyer about whom a complaint has been made;
- disseminate information and coordinate training to law firms on issues of harassment in the workplace
- collect statistics in the legal community on discrimination or harassment and make an annual statistical report to the profession
Ms. Chopra replaces Gail Forsythe who has served the profession as Ombudsperson for the past five years.
The Discrimination Ombudsperson is independent of the Law Society discipline process. If a discrimination complaint is not resolved through the Discrimination Ombudsperson, a complainant can later make a complaint to the Law Society or can make a complaint without first going to the Ombudsperson — but that process is separate.
If you would like information or assistance from Ms. Chopra, please leave a confidential voice-mail message for her at (604) 687-2344 at any time. Ms. Chopra will be the only person with access to her messages and will return calls promptly.