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Ontario Human Rights Code

HRTO confirms co-op student’s right to pursue interests

Co-op students may be covered by the “Code”, and should be afforded the same inalienable rights as all other employees during a potential interview or  co-op placement.

 

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Improving accessibility standards for employment

Accessibility sign

The Ontario government is updating the accessibility standards for employment to make employment more accessible to people with disabilities.

 

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Sexual harassment and Valentine’s Day

Employers need to be aware of the sexual tensions at play in an office, or risk being held liable for failing to address a poisoned work environment. For example, if two co-workers had a relationship and then broke up, and one is now showing revealing photos of the other around the office, this likely creates a poisoned work environment for the depicted employee. Though a manager may be tempted to deem the matter personal, the employer has an obligation to protect the employee.

 

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Update on genetic discrimination provisions in human rights legislation

Canada is on its way to including genetic discrimination provisions in its human rights legislation. Since March 2017, some interesting developments have occurred.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a recent policy statement released by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a proposed increase to administrative monetary penalties under Bill 148 and consequential and technical changes to regulations made under the Employment Standards Act if the proposed Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 is passed.

 

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Adding new prohibited grounds in Ontario Human Rights Code

Private member’s Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017, introduced on October 4, 2017 in the Ontario Legislature would amend the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) to include four new prohibited grounds of discrimination including, social condition, police records, genetic characteristics and immigration status.

 

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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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