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human rights complaints

Workplace investigations that are required or recommended

Until the last few years formal workplace investigations were relatively uncommon. Recent changes to the law however have totally changed the legal landscape relating to workplace investigations. To reduce legal exposure and save costs, I believe most employers should ensure that at least one employee receives workplace investigation training. This blog discusses four scenarios where workplace investigations are required or recommended.

 

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Nova Scotia – Application of restorative process to discrimination complaint

Since 2012, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has adopted a restorative approach as the first option in addressing human rights complaints. If a complaint is referred to a Board of Inquiry, parties have the option to either proceed to a traditional hearing, or agree to a Restorative Board of Inquiry process.

 

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‘Genetic characteristics’ as a prohibited ground of discrimination in Ontario?

A recent private member’s bill introduced by a Liberal MPP in the Ontario legislature would add “genetic characteristics” as a prohibited ground of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Code. As currently drafted, “genetic characteristics” would be defined as “genetic traits of an individual, including traits that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or disease”.

 

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Federal Court clarifies that the prohibited ground of “family status” includes “childcare obligations”

Do employers have to accommodate the “childcare responsibilities” of their employees to the point of undue hardship? The Federal Court has confirmed that in the federal jurisdiction the answer is yes subject to the requirement that the childcare responsibility be a “substantial parental obligation”.

 

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The Human Rights Tribunal says “no” to forum shopping

It has been a year since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v. Figliola (“Figliola”). In Figliola, the Supreme Court stated that human rights complaints should not be relitigated before a human rights tribunal when they have already been litigated before another tribunal, such as the workers’ compensation board (“WSIB”), or a labour arbitration tribunal.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

Gender identity and access to women’s washroom facilities Would it be discriminatory to prohibit a pre-operative, male-to-female transsexual from entering a women’s washroom? The answer should be of interest to any employer or business offering services or accommodation to the public. (In PDF) Performance review must take into consideration a person’s disability An employer discriminated […]

 

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Slaw: The Saskatchewan human rights tribunal eliminated

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2010, S.S. 2011, c. 17 (former Bill 160), was proclaimed in force on July 1, 2011. The overall purpose of the Act is to make the human rights complaints process more timely and flexible by streamlining the process for dealing with complaints and allowing more cases to be resolved without litigation.

 

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Employer was permitted to contract out of human rights obligations

I read an interesting case recently that could be considered controversial: an employer was permitted to contract out of its human rights obligations with some vulnerable employees who were at an economic disadvantage and who experienced significant language barriers. How did the employer accomplish this? The employer added a provision in its termination letter that offered the employees consideration in exchange for signing releases preventing them from launching a human rights complaint.

 

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