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British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU

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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Constructive discrimination: The case of Tawney Meiorin

Constructive or adverse discrimination in employment occurs when rules or standards are established that do not discriminate at first glance, but have an adverse effect on persons whose rights are protected under human rights legislation. In such a case, the burden shifts to the employer to establish that such rules or standards are essential to the job, also known as bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR’s. British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU is the leading case which addresses this issue. This seminal human rights case from the Supreme Court of Canada established a three-part test which has become the standard to evaluate constructive discrimination.

 

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