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Human Rights

Recent decision upholds reasonable prospect criteria

The Tribunal does not have the general power to deal with allegations of unfairness, as the Tribunal’s jurisdiction is exclusive to issues of human rights and discrimination. In order for an application to be successful, the applicant must establish a connection between one or more of the protected grounds and behaviour on the part of the respondent.

 

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Preferential treatment for employees with active WSIB claims not discriminatory

Generally, where no suitable work is available for an employee’s restrictions, employers are not required by human rights law to accommodate a disabled employee by generating new positions for them.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with four new prohibited grounds of discrimination, the Suncor employee drug testing fight and 2018 salary projections.

 

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The Wall: Tearing down a poisoned work environment

Although a similar CSI-style wall is unlikely to be recreated in a typical workplace, other examples of pervasive, non-specific harassment may arise. It is incumbent upon leaders at all levels in an organization not just to recognize harassment and potentially, a poisoned work environment, but to take steps to remedy the issues.

 

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Adding new prohibited grounds in Ontario Human Rights Code

Private member’s Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017, introduced on October 4, 2017 in the Ontario Legislature would amend the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) to include four new prohibited grounds of discrimination including, social condition, police records, genetic characteristics and immigration status.

 

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Tips for recruiting online

While it may be tempting to view the web as a wild west free-for-all, it is important to remember that the law still very much applies.

 

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Compliment or sexual harassment: Where do you draw the line?

Despite a number of legislative initiatives that are intended to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment in society, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Ontario’s workplaces.

 

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SCC upholds dismissal of employee for failing to disclose cocaine use in violation of no free accident rule

The no free accident rule is designed to encourage safety by encouraging employees with substance abuse problems to come forward and obtain treatment before their problems compromise safety. In Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30, the Supreme Court of Canada recently reaffirmed the two-part test for discrimination in the workplace. Centered on the termination of […]

 

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Keeping abreast of discriminatory dress codes

There remains a puritanical discomfort with women’s breasts in public, evident in numerous cases of discrimination against mothers breastfeeding in public and high school dress codes prohibiting bra straps from showing. In September the issue spilled over into the workplace.

 

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Pregnancy and the burden of proof: Grudonic v. Ray Daniel Salon & Spa

In an application under s. 34 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the burden of proof lies with the applicant. Once the applicant has established a prima facie case of discrimination, the burden then shifts to the respondent to justify their conduct.

 

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Ontario Bill 148: Are you really prepared?

On August 23, 2017, the Ontario Liberal Government met for the 1st reading of Ontario Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. There has been much concern in the public eye regarding the highlight of this act which states a 33% increase to minimum wage in just under 6 months.

 

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Pregnant temporary worker files human rights complaint after termination

Many employers in Canada use temporary workers supplied by employment agencies so that they don’t have to have full time employees and the obligations associated with full time staff such as severance, benefit and other monetary entitlements.

 

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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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