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Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

OHSA workplace harassment amendments to take effect September 8, 2016: Are you ready?

“Bob is harassing me.” Your spidey senses should be tingling, because some kind of investigation should be taking place soon. If not, consider what happened when an employee at CBC complained about Jian Ghomeshi and was ignored or when an employee at the TO2015 Pan American games complained about David Peterson and her complaint was allegedly not taken seriously. Here are three questions to consider when someone makes a harassment complaint.

 

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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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The duty to accommodate revisited: H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs

The duty to accommodate presents itself to employers in many forms. While the most common accommodation involves a disability, often there are other grounds for accommodation that an employer must address as illustrated in H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs.

 

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Human Rights Tribunal finds miscarriage constitutes disability

A recent interim decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal addressed whether a miscarriage could constitute a disability for the purposes of human rights legislation.

 

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Maciel vs. Fashion Coiffures: pregnancy and employer’s continued obligation under the “Code”

The applicant alleged that she was terminated when on her first day of work she disclosed to her manager, Ms. Cinzia Conforti, that she was pregnant. In contrast, the respondents attributed her termination to the applicant’s alleged request to work part-time, although she had been newly hired for a full-time position.

 

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Sex based discrimination and poisoned work environment

Does an employee have to be “sexually” harassed in order for there to be a breach of the Human Rights Code? This issue was determined in a recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

 

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Family status under the Code: Recent developments

The seminal cases dealing with discrimination based on family status more often than not address the issue of caregiving. In the recent case, Knox-Heldmann v. 1818224 Ontario Limited o/a Country Style Donut, the Tribunal demonstrates that discrimination based on family status is not restricted to caregiving.

 

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Tribunal orders pharmacy to pay $8,000 as a result of racial profiling

Under section 46.3 (1) of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employer may be vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. Such was the case in the recent Human Rights Tribunal decision.

 

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No “give and take” required by employee in accommodation under the Human Rights Code

The applicant, Michele Macan, filed a human rights application alleging discrimination with respect to employment due to disability. The respondent, Stongco Limited Partnership, rejected the allegations, instead submitting that the applicant’s disability was “not a reason, a factor, or even considered in its decision to terminate the applicant”.[1] The respondent alleged that her termination was […]

 

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Respondents challenge $100,000.00 human rights decision

While more often than not the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s decisions are not challenged, there are two processes by which this can be done.

 

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The Human Rights Code and Res Judicata: G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited

Generally speaking, res judicata (Latin for “a thing adjudicated”) is the legal doctrine which prevents the same matter from being tried a second time once there has been a verdict or decision in regard to that matter. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, a criminal matter being decided in regard to a matter that contains a breach of the Human Rights Code does not necessarily prevent an applicant from filing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. This was the case in G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited.

 

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Employee awarded $ 150 000 in general damages for sexual harassment

Since 2008, adjudicators appointed under the Ontario Human Rights Code have had the power to award unlimited general damages as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. Since that time however, very few adjudicators have awarded more than $ 40.000 and most awards are under $ 20.000.

 

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Poisoned work environment, discrimination, and undue hardship under the “Code”

A recent Ontario Human Rights case further underscores the employer’s ongoing duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, and that Code based harassment or discrimination constitutes a breach under the Human Rights Code of Ontario.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with changes to police record check; non-discriminatory explanation for firing; and ROE Web formats.

 

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Rollick v. 1526597 Ontario Inc.: “heavy handed and unjustifiable conduct”

The recent Human Rights decision of Rollick v. 1526597 Ontario Inc. o/a Tim Horton’s Store No. 2533, addresses what the Tribunal characterized as “heavy handed and unjustifiable” conduct on the part of the employer, when dealing with an employee with a disability.

 

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