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Sloan v. Just Energy Corporation: Pregnancy and fairness under the Code

The Code protects employees from discrimination based on various protected grounds. One of the more difficult of these may be pregnancy, as often the question becomes not whether or not the applicant was pregnant, but rather when the employer became aware of the pregnancy, and whether or not the pregnancy was a factor in the employee’s termination.

 

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Divisional Court confirms Human Rights Code provides statutory authority to demand an Independent Medical Exam

Back in December 2015, I wrote a blog post on a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision in Bottiglia v. Ottawa Catholic School Board. The case concerned the ability of an employer to demand an Independent Medical Exam in circumstances where there was no clear contractual or express statutory authority.

 

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Family status: The employee’s obligation under “the Code”

The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.

 

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Disability and termination under the Human Rights Code

Under the Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the Code), an employee cannot be terminated due to a disability. If the Human Rights Tribunal finds that the termination was based in part or in whole on a disability, this may be considered a breach of the Code. The matter was addressed in one of the first Tribunal decisions of 2017, Ben Saad v. 1544982 Ontario Inc.

 

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Medical documentation request after employee illness

Is an employer’s request for medical documentation after an employee’s illness in keeping with the Human Rights Code (“Code”)? The following case examines whether or not it is a breach of the Code for an employer to request medical documentation as a condition of returning an employee to work.

 

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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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Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135: No reasonable prospect of success

Rule 19A of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure, allow the Tribunal to hold a summary hearing to determine whether the Application should be dismissed in whole or in part on the basis that there is no reasonable prospect that the Application or part of the Application will succeed. This was the case in Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135.

 

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The cost of racial stereotyping: Adams v. Knoll North America

Following a verbal altercation with his supervisor, the applicant was terminated after he refused to partake in an anger management program as a requirement of his continued employment. On October 31, 2008 the applicant filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination based on race. The respondents, Knoll, denied the allegations.

 

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Sexual harassment under the Code: Smith v. The Rover’s Rest

The case of Smith v. The Rover’s Rest, 2013 HRTO 700 is a recent case dealing with sexual harassment and reprisal under the Human Rights Code of Ontario. At the time of the incidents, the applicant, Debbie Smith was a 39-year-old mother being paid $7.00 per hour as a bartender at the Rover’s Rest in […]

 

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Remedial powers of the Human Rights Tribunal

Often employers are unaware of the pitfalls of becoming embroiled in a Human Rights application. Employers are sometimes shocked to find that the Tribunal’s powers not only lay in monetary awards, but also in non-monetary, as well as future compliance or public interest remedies. If an employer is found to have breached the Code, below are just some examples of such powers and remedies which the Tribunal may order.

 

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Learn the latest! — Responding to human rights harassment complaints: Guidelines from the HRTO

You are an employer that has just received a harassment complaint from an employee. The complaint is against a valued employee who you do not want to lose. But you are also worried that you will be faced with an expensive human rights complaint or lawsuit. What do you do?

 

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Clinging to past knowledge can be costly

Twice in the last month while conducting training sessions, I have had a workshop participant insist that their workers could NOT file a claim directly with the HRTO because the workers are members of a union. The workers must, they have insisted, file a grievance and settle their human rights claim via the labour relations process. A review of the law reveals the above is simply NOT the case.

 

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