Rachel Doerrie, a former employee in the Vancouver Canucks analytics department, filed a complaint against the team last week, alleging discrimination by the organization when she was fired in September.
On Sunday, Doerrie tweeted out a copy of the complaint, which was filed by her legal representative on Nov. 22 and alleges that Vancouver assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay made discriminatory comments about her mental health while Doerrie was still employed by the team.
The Canucks hired Doerrie in January as an analyst, and she was promoted over the summer to work with the coaching staff.
According to the complaint, when she first interviewed with the Canucks, she told them she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress in 2018, that she suffered from anxiety and panic attacks along with depression and that her mental illness was tied to physical issues she had — all of which was made known to her colleagues and supervisors within the organization after the hiring.
On Sept. 19, Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau spoke with reporters at a charity golf event and told them Doerrie would be working with the coaching staff. Doerrie reposted a story about her promotion from her Instagram account.
The complaint alleges that Castonguay called Doerrie into her office the next day and raised concerns about her posting the article and speaking with the media. Doerrie refuted that she spoke with the media, telling Castonguay that she only “politely reacted” after the reporter had texted her what Boudreau had said.
Doerrie then alleged that Castonguay told her in response: “You’re not important enough to be cared about” and that “no one in the media is your friend,” before adding, “I don’t know if you have what it takes to do the job, mentally.”
The complaint then alleges that Castonguay ignored Doerrie and “stopped acknowledging her presence in front of her co-workers” when they attended the team’s training camp a few days later in Whistler, British Columbia. Doerrie, per the complaint, was left feeling “very isolated and emotionally destroyed” and suffered “multiple cardiac episodes and anxiety attacks” that were treated by the Canucks medical staff while there.
On Sept. 27, Doerrie said she met with the team’s human resources department and told it Castonguay had “crossed the line” with her remarks about Doerrie’s mental ability to do the job. The complaint states Canucks HR told Doerrie it had been told by Castonguay that she spoke with the media about her promotion and that it would look into Castonguay’s comments about Doerrie.
Hours later, Doerrie was fired by Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin. The complaint states the only reason given to Doerrie about her dismissal was she spoke to the reporter who wrote the story about the announcement of her promotion and reposted the article about Boudreau’s comments on social media.
Castonguay and Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CSE), the team’s parent company, both issued statements later Sunday. Castonguay called Doerrie’s allegations “absolutely not true” and said Doerrie’s version of what Castonguay told her are “false and inaccurate.”
CSE said it provided Doerrie with “all the necessary resources, support and opportunities” for her to succeed in the role.
“We acted in good faith and abided by our contractual obligations, both during and after Ms. Doerrie’s employment with the organization,” the statement read. “As this is a legal matter, we will respond accordingly at the proper time.”