Tribunal set to hear workplace inequality complaints

| 12/02/2012

sexual-harassment.jpg(CNS): Following the implementation of the gender equality law two weeks ago the tribunal that will hear complaints under the legislation has now been appointed. Chaired by attorney Sheridan Brooks the tribunal members are Karie Bergstrom, Shaun Cockle, André Ebanks and Tammy Ebanks.  Anyone with reasonable grounds to show they, or anyone they know, has been discriminated against on the basis of sex, marital status, pregnancy or gender, a complaint can be made to the five member tribunal within six months from the date of the incident.Approved by Cabinet on 31 January, Mike Adam the Minister responsible for gender affairs said that after thorough consideration the five qualified individuals had committed to the initiative.

“I am confident that this Tribunal will help improve work environments, so men and women can enjoy equal opportunities,” he said. The minister added that the tribunal members were equipped with qualifications and experience in fields such as gender issues, social development, human rights or labour as required by the law.

The law requires that the tribunal chair is a lawyer and Brooks was the first qualified Caymanian female attorney to open a legal practice in the Cayman Islands just over 21 years ago.  Brooks firm has a special emphasis on civil and matrimonial litigation.

Karie Bergstrom is currently employed at Deloitte in a dual role as a Director of Human Resources and Consulting and with over ten years’ experience in human resources she fulfils the requirement of a labour expert on the tribunal.

Shaun Cockle is a specialist employment lawyer at Appleby with over ten years’ experience dealing with litigation matters and advisory work. In this capacity, he advises and prepares matters for Grand Court and Labour Tribunal involving breach of contract, unfair dismissal/constructive dismissal and severance. \\

As also required in the law André Ebanks is a humanrights and social development expert. A. past member of the Cayman Islands Human Rights Committee, which was the predecessor to the current Cayman Islands Human Rights Commission, Ebanks also acted as co-counsel in the first Cayman Islands petition to the European Court of Human Rights. He is currently employed with Walkers as a fund lawyer.

Finally government’s policy advisor for gender affairs Tammy Ebanks completes the tribunal line up with her qualifications and expertise in the areas of gender, social development, and human rights. Formerly with the Women’s Resource Centre, she has also participated in regional research projects focusing on gender issues, as well as presented papers on gender focused topics at regional workshops and conferences. 

Look out for more information on how to file a complaint and procedures of the Tribunal and to learn about your rights under the new Gender Equality Law, visit

See tribunal members’ full biographies below

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Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Fully agree.   Like minimum wages for all, no matter gender.  Not saying discrimination against women isn't important, but there are other priorities that keep getting ignored, for political and business reasons. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between sex and gender as mentioned in the first paragraph? Also what qualifications do these people on the tribunal actually have? Men can definitely submit under the law I presume. For instance men are discrimintated against when it comes to leave for child care or the fact that when a woman takes maternity leave it is usually men and single women who usualyy have to pick up the slack at work when the other employee is on leave. Perhaps one could argue that there is discrimination on those who do not take maternity leave since they work longer qand harder for the same pay.

    Again for those individuals discriminated against because they are gay there is no protection

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is true, Young or women have a better chance of gaining employment these days in most work fields (except construction and hard labour jobs) Look around next time you are in a work place and count the males compared to females and you may actually notice this.


    CUC, Cayman Airways,restaurants and bars,Front line hotel staff to name a few… Or do you think there are just more women than men being born? I have even seen many jobs advertised that are only looking for Women to fill- to me this is discrimination. Can we get somestatistics from the labour department on how many males compared to females are looking for work and also inmates at Northward being held.


  4. Male Counterpart says:

    I can see it now, "gender discrimination police," you call them the GDP, assigned to target male owners and managers on business establishments. And then you will have women victims with trivial complaints that they are being discriminated. When will government realize that if they want to protect people's rights, it should be done across the board – not one group of people!  It's like Woman's Resource Center has changed its name to Family Resource Center after years of discriminating against Men… YES I SAID!  A KNOWN FACT!   Cayman is becoming another Greece where there is more laws than people, effecting the workforce.

  5. sandra says:

    I don't get it!  I am a woman and I have not seen gender discrimination in the Cayman Islands like other places. I must have missed out on something. The majority of Caymanian men have pretty much shown respect to their women. However, I won't deny that we have sexual harrassment here!  But gender discrimination??  I don't think so!  That is another European issue pronounced it seems upon us!  There are more women in working in Cayman than they are young men. And I have seen alot of single men, especially, youngsters, discriminated because they are single and have no children. I have seen them looked upon as having a criminal record. More young guys in Cayman are discriminated today than women in general when it comes to getting a job. So this big fuss about women being discriminated because they are women, is very far-fetched. Never seen it here nor heard of it happening here. If it has happened it must be something new. I just wish Mike Adam would stick to the real relevant issues effecting us! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      give them a break. despite so much people unemployed, udp is trying real hard to get re-elected, so they have to come up with something to distract everyone from the real issues 🙂