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discrimination

Looking in the mirror: Harassment in legal workplaces

Whether advocating for a client before the Human Rights Tribunal, drafting a Respect at Work Policy or assisting a client with engaging a workplace investigator, many lawyers are familiar with providing advice about harassment at work, but how many of us have thought about harassment in our own workplaces?

 

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Employer reminder: Summary hearing tool at the Human Rights Tribunal for allegations of bullying and harassment

An “Order for a Summary Hearing” is an employer’s tool to seek early dismissal of the Application on the basis that ‘there is no reasonable prospect that the Application will succeed’ at a full hearing. Hence, it should be dispensed quickly and efficiently.

 

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BC’s 14 protected grounds of discrimination

The Federal government, along with every province and territory in Canada, has human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds such as race, gender and disability in a number of public environments.

 

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Equality when you are born this way … Not the same way

When it comes to employers navigating human resource issues and relationships with their employees, the concept of equal versus identical is even more obvious. For employers, “equal” does not mean the individual employees are all the same, but that they be given the same opportunities.

 

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Alberta Human Rights Tribunal adopts findings of Workers’ Compensation Board

In Kebede v. SGS Canada Inc., 2019 AHRC 3, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a portion of a human rights complaint on the grounds that the issue was already decided by the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board.

 

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The Bikini Bistro and discrimination in the restaurant industry

An article recently came across my news feed that gave me pause. A new restaurant will be opening in Kamloops, BC, with a ‘unique’ dress code. As the name suggests, the Teenie Bikini Bistro will serve typical pub-style fare served by – wait for it –

 

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Has BC Court opened the door to more court claims of harassment?

Since the early 1980s, plaintiffs have been precluded from bringing court actions solely predicated on suffering discrimination or harassment under human rights legislation.

 

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Human rights – Your duty as an employer

In 2017, 66% of all human rights claims were employment-related. Employers have the duty to be compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

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No skirting around the issue: Gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination appear to be on the rise

Employers who fail to take action when there are complaints of unlawful discrimination in the workplace are exposing themselves to serious potential liability, both from a financial and a reputational perspective.

 

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Lack of evidence works against employer at the HRTO

In the matter of Puniani v. Rakesh Majithia CA Professional Corporation, after being terminated from her employment, the applicant filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination based on sex. The respondents denied any such claims and alleging the reason for the applicant’s termination was related to job performance.

 

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Escalating damage awards for employees at the HRTO

It would appear that there is an increasing willingness on the part of the HRTO to grant significant monetary awards to discriminated employees.

 

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$200,000 awarded by the HRTO for sexual harassment and assault of vulnerable employee

Employers would be well-advised to implement strong anti-discrimination, harassment and workplace violence policies which include provisions regarding processes, investigations and training.

 

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HRTO confirms co-op student’s right to pursue interests

Co-op students may be covered by the “Code”, and should be afforded the same inalienable rights as all other employees during a potential interview or  co-op placement.

 

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The Supreme Court of Canada interprets workplace discrimination broadly

In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the scope of section 13(1) of BC’s Human Rights Code, which concerns discrimination “regarding employment or any term or condition of employment.”

 

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Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario: the “Code” matters, not social norms

Although there may be social norms at play, a business owner would do well to continue to update and implement workplace and human rights policies on an ongoing basis, otherwise, they may be liable for any breach of the “Code”, whether intended or otherwise.

 

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