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No reason given for refusal of HRTO request to expedite, no reasons required

In this matter, the Request to Expedite was dismissed through a letter from the Registrar. In the interim decision, the Tribunal further explained that in matters dealing with process, there are no grounds for reconsideration, as only final orders may be reconsidered.


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Discrimination or accommodation?

Accessibility legislation in Ontario requires employers to communicate with employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants with disabilities in both the recruitment process and when making job offers. There is no duty to pro-actively identify an employee’s or candidate’s disability.


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Abrams v. Kupar: Pregnancy not a factor in short-term employee’s termination

In the matter of Abrams v. Kupar, the applicant, who was pregnant at the time, was terminated from a new job. The applicant believed it was due to the fact that she was pregnant. The respondent alleged that the termination had nothing to do with her pregnancy, but rather that the employee was not suited for the job. The matter was heard at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Tribunal’s decision was in favour of the respondent.


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Parliamentary Secretary releases final report and recommendations on re-establishment of B.C. Human Rights Commission

The B.C. government launched a public engagement process on September 20, 2017, led by Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon, to gather stories, feedback, and information from the public to guide the re-establishment of the Commission. The engagement process, which included nearly 100 public meetings and consideration of nearly 70 formal written submissions, ended on November 17, 2017.


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The Supreme Court of Canada issues landmark decision on the scope of human rights legislation

The Supreme Court of Canada recently issued a much-anticipated decision on the scope of human rights legislation, finding that the British Columbia Human Rights Code is not limitless in its scope, and instead created a new contextual test to determine whether alleged discriminatory conduct is conduct within the scope of the Code.


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HRTO issues rare interim order based on family status

As common as an interim order or decision may be, it is uncommon that the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may issue an order that institutes compliance on the part of the respondent prior to the conclusion of the matter. Such was the case Tomlinson v. Runnymede Healthcare Centre.


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Reinstatement of employment at the Human Rights Tribunal

Reinstatement is the practice of re-installing an employee to his/her position as it existed prior to termination, or to the fullest extent possible, which may include the preservation of their pre-existing seniority, pension and other benefits.


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“Asking for trouble”: BC Human Rights Tribunal considers whether interview questions crossed the line

The interview process can be a legal minefield for employers. One false step, one inappropriate question can give rise to a human rights complaint alleging that the employer has discriminated against the prospective employee.


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Update on genetic discrimination provisions in human rights legislation

Canada is on its way to including genetic discrimination provisions in its human rights legislation. Since March 2017, some interesting developments have occurred.


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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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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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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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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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