Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with how a probation period is an opportunity to demonstrate skills, an employer’s failure to prevent workplace harassment. and a Human Rights Tribunal decision to reinstate a terminated employee after the employer failed to accommodate.
In the recent decision Fair and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal provides a useful guide for employers to follow in determining how to return an employee to the workplace after an extended absence.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with workplace discrimination due to childcare obligations, terminating a disabled employee on sick leave and the need to have clear written policies on employee conduct and discipline.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with an employer’s dress code, if a criminal conviction can be viewed as a disability and how guetto comments in the workplace can be construed as discriminatory.
The Attorney General of Ontario released a report last week on the Ontario Human Rights Review for 2012. While both the Attorney General and the Ontario Human Rights Commission both function within the greater Ontario government, this review was created independently of government agency, with the aim to examine how the current system performs toward the highest goals to maintain justice, transparency, timeliness, and works against systemic discrimination.
A recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal provides a timely reminder of two important points in the context of accommodation of employees…
I recently read a case where a human rights claim was dismissed. After an employee had signed a full and final release with the employer and then filed a human rights application, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that it amounted to an abuse of process. As the complaint covered the same subject matter as the release, the result was that the human rights claim was dismissed.
Just in case employers needed yet another reason to be careful to ensure that employees in their workplaces treat one another with respect and avoid a “locker room mentality”, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has provided one. In Lombardi v. Walton Enterprises, (2012) HRTO 1675 the Tribunal found a corporate employer and Assistant Manager jointly and severally liable for homophobic slurs directed at an employee.
Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The accommodation of scent sensitivities arose in a recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). It raises questions as to what is considered undue hardship when accommodating an employee with a sensitivity to scents.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal just decided that an employer discriminated against an employee on the ground of disability when it terminated the employee five days before he had to have hip surgery. The employer had to pay $10,000 for injury to the terminated employee’s dignity, feelings and self-respect, plus interest.
I read a case recently that clearly illustrates why employers should ensure that interview questions are related to the actual job responsibilities required for a job, and to remember to make and keep for a reasonable period of time interview notes that include the reasons for hiring (and not hiring) candidates.
Twice in the last month while conducting training sessions, I have had a workshop participant insist that their workers could NOT file a claim directly with the HRTO because the workers are members of a union. The workers must, they have insisted, file a grievance and settle their human rights claim via the labour relations process. A review of the law reveals the above is simply NOT the case.
As most of us are aware, the Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the context of employment, and applies both during the employment relationship and in the hiring process. Most of us would take it as a given that you cannot make hiring decisions based upon grounds such as race, religion, gender, or disability. However, it is not quite as widely understood that the duty to accommodate an individual applies even to those who are not yet employees.