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Ontario Human Rights Code

Parental obligations in the workplace

For many of us who are parents, September feels like the real New Year. Workplace issues can arise with respect to shifting childcare obligations, as kids transition from summer schedules to school schedules. Employers may be met with requests to accommodate worker childcare obligations or requests for time off and should be prepared with respect to how to handle these issues both practically and legally.

 

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A primer on undue hardship and frustration of contract

This blog post provides a primer on the state of undue harship and frustration of contract under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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Definition of disability and the Ontario Human Rights Commission

When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.

 

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FAQ: Family status and child care difficulties #learnthelatest

At the June 2, 2016, Ontario Employment Law Conference, during the Q&A session, we received numerous questions on topics covered at the conference but could not address them all. From time to time, till the next conference, we will be posting and answering some of these questions on the blog.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds decision to reinstate disabled employee with 10 years back pay: Will human rights litigation ever be the same again?

I predict a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision will have a significant impact on human rights litigation. In particular, I suspect disabled employees will start asking employers to find or create alternative positions for them if they cannot perform their job duties because of a disability, and terminated employees will start asking adjudicators to reinstate them with full back pay.

 

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Disabled employee earning $22,000 per year awarded $110,000 damages

Many employees now claim more than one type of legal damages in a wrongful dismissal case. This is particularly the case when the employee is disabled. The following case is a good example.

 

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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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Is the AODA standard for employment applicable to volunteers? 

Volunteers are crucial to many  not-for-profit and public organizations.  All not-for-profits have volunteers – even if it is just at the Board of Director level.  There is widespread awareness that the training standards for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) apply to both volunteers and staff in the organization.  But what about the accessibility standard for employment? Is it applicable to volunteers? 

 

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Keeping up to date with three important Ontario employment laws

It is extremely difficult for small businesses to keep up to date on Ontario’s employment laws. This blog summarizes three laws that apply to Ontario workplaces.

 

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No procedural duty to accommodate

The Federal Court of Appeal recently ruled in Canada Human Rights Commission v Attorney General of Canada and Bronwyn Cruden, that employers do not have a separate procedural duty to accommodate employees and any procedural inadequacy throughout the accommodation process is not critical where the employer’s actions do not constitute discrimination.

 

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Strep throat not deemed a disability under the Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a complaint alleging discrimination made by an examiner when her contract with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario was cancelled. Her contract was cancelled because she was unable to attend a two-day mandatory training session as she had strep throat.

 

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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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Cost orders under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

A common complaint we hear from employers who are engaged in proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) is that regardless of the merits of the complaint, or the end result, the employer is burdened with the legal costs of successfully defending a complaint.

 

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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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New development in Christian Horizons discrimination case

When a support worker at an evangelical Christian organization that runs homes for persons with developmental disabilities entered a same-sex relationship, the organization found the worker had breached its “Lifestyle and Morality Statement,” which prohibited homosexual relationships. The organization, Christian Horizons, eventually terminated the employee on that ground, and the worker complained of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

 

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