prohibited ground of discrimination
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”.
I am fortunate in my practice to work with clients in different industries, ranging from healthcare and social services to traditional manufacturing. Although employment laws generally apply to all industries in much the same way, there are usually certain issues that some industries face more than others. This is true of many clients I assist in the retail industry.
Pregnant employees or those employees intending to become pregnant, enjoy significant protection under various provincial and federal statutes. This article will explore the protections provided by the Ontario Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, and the Employment Insurance Act.
Federal Court clarifies that the prohibited ground of “family status” includes “childcare obligations”
Do employers have to accommodate the “childcare responsibilities” of their employees to the point of undue hardship? The Federal Court has confirmed that in the federal jurisdiction the answer is yes subject to the requirement that the childcare responsibility be a “substantial parental obligation”.
When mandatory retirement was eliminated, I noted that this change might create some interesting HR issues for employers of older workers. In the past, employers were often in a position to tolerate declining performance, comfortable in the knowledge that the employment relationship had a fixed “end date.” As a result, they could allow the employee to work out their last few years and retire with dignity.
In a decision released on July 19, 2010, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario held that an employee who was fired because she was pregnant had been discriminated against on a prohibited ground…