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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.

 

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Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy position on gender-specific dress codes

Can you think of a store, restaurant, or bar that appears to require women to wear low-cut tops, short skirts, tight dresses, or high heels when they go to work? Well, it might be wise for those employers to take another look at their dress code policy in light of the Ontario Human Rights Commission position on gender-specific dress code announced on International Women’s Day 2016 and the passing into law of occupational health and safety provisions protecting against workplace sexual harassment and violence. Under Bill 132, the OHSA’s definition of “workplace harassment” will be expanded to include “workplace sexual harassment.”

 

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Tribunal orders pharmacy to pay $8,000 as a result of racial profiling

Under section 46.3 (1) of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employer may be vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. Such was the case in the recent Human Rights Tribunal decision.

 

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The Human Rights Code and Res Judicata: G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited

Generally speaking, res judicata (Latin for “a thing adjudicated”) is the legal doctrine which prevents the same matter from being tried a second time once there has been a verdict or decision in regard to that matter. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, a criminal matter being decided in regard to a matter that contains a breach of the Human Rights Code does not necessarily prevent an applicant from filing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. This was the case in G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the importance of carefully crafting employment agreement; an employer’s offensive, distasteful and inappropriate’ motivational presentation; and, OHS worker fatality.

 

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Is there a duty to investigate a human rights complaint?

An employer is not explicitly required to investigate a discrimination complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code and, in 2013, the Ontario Divisional Court concluded there is no freestanding duty to investigate.

 

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Deaf worker terminated due to ‘inconvenience’

You’d probably be fair in thinking that a deaf, gay Aboriginal man can have a hard time getting a break, but Darryl Wesley seems like the type of person who doesn’t let obstacles get in his way. Nonetheless, when he was terminated from a landscaping job in North Bay, Ontario…

 

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Are your sexual harassment and harassment policies proactive or reactive?

While at the First Reference Conference one year, an interesting conversation arose among attendees at my lunch table, where more than one complained that her workplace refused to implement an anti-bullying policy (as was required under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act), apparently because doing so would open the floodgates (as the HR Manager was the alleged bully).

 

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Holiday parties

With the holiday season fast approaching, many organizations are in the midst of planning their annual holiday parties, meant to recognize the culmination of a year of hard work by employees and celebrate the holiday season. Although this time of year is marked with celebration and provides for a valuable team building opportunity, it can also bring with it particular obligations and potential liabilities for an employer.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with human rights webinars, executive resignation, and registered pooled pension plans.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with AODA January 1, 2015 compliance deadline; consequences of competing with employer on the side; and, obligation to protect employee from third party harassment.

 

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Ostracism is different from harassment – and sometimes worse

You might have seen instances of bullying or harassment at your workplace—we certainly hear about them frequently—but have you witnessed ostracism? A series of recent studies by Canadian researchers find that social exclusion is distinct from direct harassment and bullying, and can actually be more insidious.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an harassment claim; amendments to the Ontario pension legislation; and WSIB new musculoskeletal program of care.

 

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Employee complaints, gripes, whines and other good business advice

Retired football coach, broadcaster and motivational speaker Lou Holtz said, “Never tell your problems to anyone…20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.” Although this may have some truth for most of us, employers must be careful not to fall into either category.

 

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