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human rights

Recent case assessment direction and “creed”

religious discrimination

The Halton District Catholic School Board posted a job advertisement for a contract position. The applicant replied to the advertisement, and when he was not selected for the position he filed a complaint at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination on the ground of creed.

 

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Alberta Human Rights Tribunal adopts findings of Workers’ Compensation Board

In Kebede v. SGS Canada Inc., 2019 AHRC 3, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a portion of a human rights complaint on the grounds that the issue was already decided by the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board.

 

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Arbitrator reinstates locomotive engineer fired for drinking whiskey on the job

The fact that the Arbitrator in this case ordered reinstatement is an important reminder that employers must, at all times, ensure that they satisfy their procedural and substantive obligation to reasonably accommodate a disability, even where discipline may seem appropriate.

 

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Bad behaviour and termination

The gut reaction of most employers when they have to deal with an employee who has behaved in an outrageous fashion is to terminate the employee in question without much inquiry into the background of the conduct.

 

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Off-Key? The Boston Symphony and gender-based equality in pay

The size of an employee’s salary is often seen as an indicator of importance within an organization. Thus, when women are paid less than their male counterparts for performing similar work, it suggests that their efforts are somehow of lesser value.

 

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Interim remedies at the HRTO revisited following termination

The previous article citing Tomlinson v. Runnymede Healthcare Centre discussed interim orders at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Of note is the rarity of a decision that institutes compliance on the part of the respondent prior to the conclusion of the matter. In such a request, the burden of proof is placed squarely upon the applicant, as in Codrin v. Commissionaires Great Lakes.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with OHRC’s annual report, new service dog signage for businesses and the Speech from the Throne.

 

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There’s a tidal shift happening in human rights – Are employers ready?

The intolerance brought on by the #MeToo movement is being mirrored in Human Rights Tribunal decisions across the country as awards for damages relating to sexual harassment show an upward trend. There are also other changes brewing in human rights law, particularly in Ontario. A recent decision on age discrimination and benefit coverage may require significant amendments to employer benefit plans and resulting costs to employers.

 

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Termination of employment does not terminate ability to apply for LTD benefits

The case discussed in this article is important because it is a common concern of those who become disabled that they will cease to have access to LTD coverage if their employer terminates their employment before LTD benefits commence. What this decision appears to stand for is the proposition that it does not matter when employment ends, it matters when the injury or illness commenced.

 

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Social media and recruitment

Social media is now a part of our lives, including our work lives. While it can be an important tool, employers need to use their good judgment and use it wisely.

 

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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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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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Supreme Court of Canada confirms that all workplace harassment is protected – even by third parties

In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that human rights legislation is to be interpreted broadly and purposively and specifically found that the protection against workplace harassment is not limited to conduct perpetrated by an individual’s employer or co-worker. This decision will have significant implications for employers and employees alike.

 

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What is a right to request under employment standards?

With the new Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 coming into force, new provisions have been put into place. One such provision is the right to request a change to work schedule or location. What are an employer’s obligations under this provision?

 

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