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Author Archive - Kevin Sambrano

Kevin Sambrano, B.A.A. is a paralegal who is passionate about human rights. Kevin worked for a number of years as a tenant advocate organizing over 100 tenant associations and taking part in over 80 positive outcome negotiations. He completed his internship at a law firm, focusing in human rights and employment law. Recently, Kevin opened the doors of Sambrano Legal Services offering representation in human rights and employment law in Toronto and the GTA. Read more

Can an employee “sign away” their human rights?: Brown v. Prime Communications Canada Inc.

The question of “can an employee “sign away” their human rights?” became relevant in a recent case. After signing a release with her employer, the Applicant filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination with respect to employment because of sex contrary to the Human Rights Code.

 

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To defer or not to defer a human rights application: What are the relevant questions?

Where the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario finds there is a separate proceeding that may involve similar facts, the Tribunal has discretion to defer consideration of an application until the proceeding has been completed. Such was the question, whether or not to defer the application in the recent interim order in West v.Yogen Fruz Canada Inc.

 

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The duty to accommodate revisited: H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs

The duty to accommodate presents itself to employers in many forms. While the most common accommodation involves a disability, often there are other grounds for accommodation that an employer must address as illustrated in H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs.

 

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Summary hearings at the HRTO: Is an alternative explanation enough?

When a respondent is first made aware that a Human Rights application has been filed against them, often their first response is to deny any accusations and to request a summary hearing in hopes of disposing of the matter at the outset. While such hearings may be requested, it does not always work to the advantage of the respondent. Such was the case in the recent Interim Decision of Lomotey v. Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre.

 

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Maciel vs. Fashion Coiffures: pregnancy and employer’s continued obligation under the “Code”

The applicant alleged that she was terminated when on her first day of work she disclosed to her manager, Ms. Cinzia Conforti, that she was pregnant. In contrast, the respondents attributed her termination to the applicant’s alleged request to work part-time, although she had been newly hired for a full-time position.

 

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Sex based discrimination and poisoned work environment

Does an employee have to be “sexually” harassed in order for there to be a breach of the Human Rights Code? This issue was determined in a recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

 

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Family status under the Code: Recent developments

The seminal cases dealing with discrimination based on family status more often than not address the issue of caregiving. In the recent case, Knox-Heldmann v. 1818224 Ontario Limited o/a Country Style Donut, the Tribunal demonstrates that discrimination based on family status is not restricted to caregiving.

 

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Employee not discriminated against as breastfeeding a “choice”- Federal Court of Appeal Decision

The recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal addresses the employer’s duty to accommodate. Ms. Laura Flatt, the applicant, sought a judicial review from the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (Board) after her grievance against her employer, the Treasury Board of Canada, was dismissed. The applicant had filed her grievance based on discrimination on the grounds of sex and family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

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Tribunal orders pharmacy to pay $8,000 as a result of racial profiling

Under section 46.3 (1) of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employer may be vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. Such was the case in the recent Human Rights Tribunal decision.

 

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Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135: No reasonable prospect of success

Rule 19A of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure, allow the Tribunal to hold a summary hearing to determine whether the Application should be dismissed in whole or in part on the basis that there is no reasonable prospect that the Application or part of the Application will succeed. This was the case in Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135.

 

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No “give and take” required by employee in accommodation under the Human Rights Code

The applicant, Michele Macan, filed a human rights application alleging discrimination with respect to employment due to disability. The respondent, Stongco Limited Partnership, rejected the allegations, instead submitting that the applicant’s disability was “not a reason, a factor, or even considered in its decision to terminate the applicant”.[1] The respondent alleged that her termination was […]

 

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Respondents challenge $100,000.00 human rights decision

While more often than not the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s decisions are not challenged, there are two processes by which this can be done.

 

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The Human Rights Code and Res Judicata: G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited

Generally speaking, res judicata (Latin for “a thing adjudicated”) is the legal doctrine which prevents the same matter from being tried a second time once there has been a verdict or decision in regard to that matter. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, a criminal matter being decided in regard to a matter that contains a breach of the Human Rights Code does not necessarily prevent an applicant from filing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. This was the case in G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited.

 

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Poisoned work environment, discrimination, and undue hardship under the “Code”

A recent Ontario Human Rights case further underscores the employer’s ongoing duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, and that Code based harassment or discrimination constitutes a breach under the Human Rights Code of Ontario.

 

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Rollick v. 1526597 Ontario Inc.: “heavy handed and unjustifiable conduct”

The recent Human Rights decision of Rollick v. 1526597 Ontario Inc. o/a Tim Horton’s Store No. 2533, addresses what the Tribunal characterized as “heavy handed and unjustifiable” conduct on the part of the employer, when dealing with an employee with a disability.

 

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