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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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The legalities of criminal, credit and medical checks in HR

Many employers requesting personal information related to criminal, credit or medical circumstances may consider the requests to be legitimate in creating or maintaining the working relationship. However, they should be careful what they wish for.

 

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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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Preferential treatment for employees with active WSIB claims not discriminatory

Generally, where no suitable work is available for an employee’s restrictions, employers are not required by human rights law to accommodate a disabled employee by generating new positions for them.

 

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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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Pink jobs vs. blue jobs: Sexism in the skilled trades

In August 2017, the federal government launched a $73 million work-placement program for students through paid co-op opportunities in industries such as science, engineering and skilled trades. This is one of many examples of recent initiatives attempting to attract more people into the skilled trades. Both federal and provincial governments have acknowledged a shortage of workers in the trades and are working on ways to incentivize people – especially women – to enter fields like electrical work, construction and carpentry.

 

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Talking damages: Put your money where your mouth is

When it comes to human rights cases, awards for general damages are often less than $10,000, even though the $10,000 cap on general damages was removed almost a decade ago.

 

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$85,000.00 human rights award against employer in sexual harassment case upheld on appeal

In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case serves as an example of how serious our Canadian Courts are now treating sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

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E.T. v. Dress Code Express Inc., the “Code” as applied to minors

The Ontario Human Rights Code is extensive in its efforts to protect persons within Ontario, and may apply to minors in the workforce. Regardless of the age of the employee, chances are they are covered by the “Code,” and their rights may be enforced if not by the employee, then by a litigation guardian. Age as well as the other protected grounds, is not an excuse or invitation for abuse.

 

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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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Marijuana use remains cloudy

Canada legalizes marijuana

As laws regarding marijuana continue to evolve, even now employers are faced with ongoing legal questions concerning medical marijuana use in the workplace.

 

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The “G” word: Brooks v. Total Credit Recovery Limited

Brooks v. Total Credit Recovery Limited, a decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario examined words, their etymology, and their impact in the workplace.

 

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The end of accommodation? Frustration of the employment contract as a last resort

One of the goals of legislation such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Human Rights Code is to promote accessibility and accommodation in various forums, including the workplace. However, when it becomes clear that, despite accommodating an employee to the point of undue hardship, a disabled employee will never again be able to return to his or her job or be accommodated in another position, what can an employer do?

 

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Vexatious litigants and abuse of process at Tribunal

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has the authority to govern its own proceedings. Within this authority is the power to declare any applicant a vexatious litigant and to identity any abuse of process, either of which may result in the dismissal of an Application. The recent interim decision addresses both of these issues.

 

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Workplace health and safety law and partisan political arguments

workplace partisan political arguments

In March, a discussion was posted with respect to how workplace political expression could go awry with human rights law. The article also provided some best practices on how human resources professionals and employers can appropriately address human rights complaints specifically on the basis of political belief, activity or association. This following discussion, “Part 2”, addresses how workplace political expression could also contravene harassment provisions under occupational health and safety legislation.

 

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