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.
Good Friday, observed on March 25, 2016, is a Christian religious and statutory holiday recognized across Canada. Easter Sunday, observed on March 27, 2016, is a Christian religious holiday as well as a retail holiday, in some provinces and territories.
Ontario Human Rights Commission released updated policy on “preventing discrimination based on Creed”
This past December the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a new and comprehensive 173 page Updated Policy on Preventing Discrimination based on Creed to replace its earlier Policy that was first published in 1996. The Commission stated that given the significant demographic changes in Ontario, it has been working on a new policy since 2012. The aim of the policy is to highlight how discrimination on the basis of Creed can be avoided in broader Ontario society which is increasingly more diverse.
HRTO concludes teenage Mennonites discriminated against when fired for observing a religious holiday
A small vegetable and herb business in Ontario recently ran afoul of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“Code”) because it blindly adhered to its attendance policy and failed to consider any alternatives to an employee’s request for a day off work to observe a religious holiday because it interfered with its business demands. The Ontario […]
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.
Under the Human Rights Code (Ontario), the duty to accommodate in the workplace is a two-part obligation. Employers who do not make at least a reasonable effort to comply with this obligation can find themselves having to pay a financial price. This was the reality in Qureshi v. G4S Security Services, 2009.
When a support worker at an evangelical Christian organization that runs homes for persons with developmental disabilities entered a same-sex relationship, the organization found the worker had breached its “Lifestyle and Morality Statement,” which prohibited homosexual relationships. The organization, Christian Horizons, eventually terminated the employee on that ground, and the worker complained of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Many H.R. Departments pride themselves on the skill with which they can interview prospective employees in order to assess their qualifications for the position being advertised, the fit of the employee with the organization, and the likelihood that the employee will stay with the organization for a reasonable period of time. What employers are often not cognizant of is the limitation imposed on this process by the provisions of various provincial and federal Human Rights statutes.
On January 15, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg released its ruling in the cases of four Christian employees who argued that they suffered from discrimination and that their employers encroached upon their right to religious freedom at work. . . .
The Ontario Human Rights Commission issued a release recently to notify the public about an upcoming update to its policy on creed and accommodation of religious observances. The policy was created 15 years ago and is now due to be reviewed and amended to reflect the current demographics in Ontario. Public feedback is being collected to inform the new policy – yes, this means you.
Under human rights legislation in all jurisdictions in Canada, employers cannot ignore the religious needs or observances of employees but must work with employees to try to accommodate them. In addition, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of religion and expression…