CP24 host Patricia Jaggernauth has filed a human rights complaint against Bell Media alleging racism, sexism and discrimination during her 11 years with the broadcaster.
Jaggernauth, 40, joined Bell Media in June 2011 as a weather specialist and Live Eye host for CP24 Breakfast, reporting from community events. In 2017, she also started hosting lifestyle and celebrity talk series, The Patricia J Show, on Bell Fibe TV1.
From a Guyanese/Jamaican background, the host filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission on Wednesday – one day after giving notice at CP24 – alleging that race played a part in her being passed over for promotions and never offered full-time employment. She also says he was prevented from earning a living wage when this past summer, Bell moved to prohibit the freelancer from pursuing opportunities outside the network without management approval.
In an exclusive interview granted to CBC News, Jaggernauth said she eventually burned out due to the constant uncertainty of her work week in which she was frequently called upon to fill-in for other hosts, resulting in short turnarounds. That culminated in hospitalization for a virus in 2019 and three months unpaid sick leave.
“How many times when you go up for a position when you’re overqualified are you then told ‘you are the very fabric that makes this place what it is, but we’re going a different direction,'” Jaggernauth told CBC.
“I went for every single job. I’ve lost count, more than 10-11 opportunities. I’m always good enough to fill-in, but never good enough to invest in,” she continued.
A 2006 Seneca College Broadcast Journalism grad, Jaggernauth grew up in Scarborough. She started out interning at Flow 93.5, Canadian Idol, and ET Canada. She went on to hosting and writing stints at short-lived dance specialty channel bpm.tv, and GlassBox’s BITE TV, which won a 2008 Emmy Award for Best Interactive Digital Cable Channel during Jaggernauth’s tenure as lead host. That was followed by Global TV game show Brain Battle, and Citytv’s NiteLife TV. Jaggernauth also runs her own online fashion boutique, PJ Glam Girl.
Latest HR issue for Bell
Jaggernauth’s human rights complaint is just the latest in a string of employee claims against the company over the past year.
Former Bell Media network talk radio host Jamil Jivani has filed suit, alleging he was fired because he didn’t “fit a stereotype that Bell thought a member of the Black community should conform to.”
Danielle Graham, the former co-host of eTalk, launched a $1.2 million suit in June over allegations of gender discrimination, alleging she was passed over for promotion, and received less pay and fewer perks than male colleagues Ben Mulroney and Tyrone Edwards.
The company is also still dealing with the fallout from this summer’s release of CTV National News senior anchor Lisa LaFlamme that unearthed allegations of a toxic work environment.
Corus Entertainment has seen at least two high-profile human rights complaints of its own in recent years — Jennifer Valentyne’s gender discrimination complaint related to her time as a co-host on Q107 Toronto’s Derringer in the Morning, and former AM 640 morning show host Supriya Dwivedi’s complaint alleging the company refused to enforce journalistic standards that led to her being subjected to racist insults and threats of violence on social media.
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