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Human Rights

Pink jobs vs. blue jobs: Sexism in the skilled trades

In August 2017, the federal government launched a $73 million work-placement program for students through paid co-op opportunities in industries such as science, engineering and skilled trades. This is one of many examples of recent initiatives attempting to attract more people into the skilled trades. Both federal and provincial governments have acknowledged a shortage of workers in the trades and are working on ways to incentivize people – especially women – to enter fields like electrical work, construction and carpentry.

 

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“Too pretty to drive a forklift”: Employee awarded considerable damages for workplace harassment and discrimination

This article details the outcome of the case of a woman who suffered repeated workplace harassment and discrimination and her employer’s failure to accommodate her reasonable requests for accommodation of both her pregnancy and disability, as defined under the Human Rights Code.

 

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An employer’s duty to inquire into mental illness

Accommodating a mental illness does not only benefit the employee, but it also makes good business sense. Enabling employees with mental illness to access support can increase their productivity in the workplace.

 

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Parental obligations in the workplace

For many of us who are parents, September feels like the real New Year. Workplace issues can arise with respect to shifting childcare obligations, as kids transition from summer schedules to school schedules. Employers may be met with requests to accommodate worker childcare obligations or requests for time off and should be prepared with respect to how to handle these issues both practically and legally.

 

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Workplace politics of politics in the workplace

workplace partisan political arguments

I drove past a house flying a confederate flag last week and asked myself, “Could I live beside that person?” You can’t do anything about the politics of your neighbour, although you don’t have to invite him or her to your backyard BBQ. The workplace, however is another story. How does an employer deal with an employee’s unpopular politics?

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: how a Tribunal addressed disabled employee resignations, a criminal negligence charge against a worker and the long reach of Canadian civil liability for human rights impacts of foreign operations.

 

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Sloan v. Just Energy Corporation: Pregnancy and fairness under the Code

The Code protects employees from discrimination based on various protected grounds. One of the more difficult of these may be pregnancy, as often the question becomes not whether or not the applicant was pregnant, but rather when the employer became aware of the pregnancy, and whether or not the pregnancy was a factor in the employee’s termination.

 

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A primer on undue hardship and frustration of contract

This blog post provides a primer on the state of undue harship and frustration of contract under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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Court comments on when employers can ask for an independent medical examination

Ontario’s Divisional Court recently confirmed that employers have a right to ask employees to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) in certain circumstances, to facilitate the accommodation process.

 

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The Canadian Human Rights Commission publishes Impaired at Work: A guide to accommodating substance dependence

The national epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses is almost a daily feature in news media. Meanwhile, recent figures indicate that prescriptions for painkillers continue to increase in Canada. It is in this context that the Canadian Human Rights Commission recently released a new guide: Impaired at Work: A guide to accommodating substance dependence.

 

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Video cameras in the workplace – The Vigi Santé Ltée decision: The Court of Appeal weighs in

The presence of video cameras in the workplace, as well as other measures of surveillance put in place by employers, have generated considerable commentary in recent years in Quebec. Administrative and civil tribunals are increasingly called upon to rule on the legality of these measures which are increasingly accessible to employers, as well as to assess their probative value in the context of the administration of evidence.

 

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Caméras vidéo en milieu de travail – L’arrêt Vigi Santé Ltée : La cour d’appel se prononce

La présence de caméras vidéo en milieu de travail, ainsi que d’autres mesures de surveillance mises en place par un employeur, font couler beaucoup d’encre depuis quelques années au Québec. En effet, les tribunaux administratifs et civils sont de plus en plus appelés à se prononcer sur la légalité de ces mesures dorénavant accessibles aux employeurs, ainsi qu’à en évaluer la force probante dans un contexte d’administration de la preuve.

 

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Talking damages: Put your money where your mouth is

When it comes to human rights cases, awards for general damages are often less than $10,000, even though the $10,000 cap on general damages was removed almost a decade ago.

 

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$85,000.00 human rights award against employer in sexual harassment case upheld on appeal

In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case serves as an example of how serious our Canadian Courts are now treating sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

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E.T. v. Dress Code Express Inc., the “Code” as applied to minors

The Ontario Human Rights Code is extensive in its efforts to protect persons within Ontario, and may apply to minors in the workforce. Regardless of the age of the employee, chances are they are covered by the “Code,” and their rights may be enforced if not by the employee, then by a litigation guardian. Age as well as the other protected grounds, is not an excuse or invitation for abuse.

 

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