First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

discrimination

Starting an investigation when no one asked (or wanted) you to

Somewhere between going on an ill-advised “fishing expedition” and commencing a clearly defined investigation of a formal complaint, lies a grey area rife with uncertain legal obligations and sticky situations.

 

, , , ,

Sick with worry: An employer’s guide to managing coronavirus concerns in the workplace

Coronavirus – by now, that’s a term we’ve all heard. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a new and contagious respiratory virus characterized by fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Coronavirus symptoms are common to a lot of viral illnesses, and in many respects, a mild coronavirus infection can look a lot like a bad cold or flu. However, in some cases, coronavirus can lead to significant and life-threatening complications.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Hearing racial slur in song lyrics not prohibited discrimination: BCHRT

Is hearing music that contains a racial slur, playing in a retail establishment, sufficient to establish discrimination under section 8 of the British Columbia Human Rights Code.

 

, , , ,

Investigating the invisible: Examining subtle racial discrimination (part 2)

The concept of a “microaggression” has received significant attention in recent years, and was explored more fully in a previous post. At its core, a microaggression is a subtle, often unintentional, behaviour that is rooted in stereotypes about marginalized groups. Despite the absence of ill will, microaggressions in the workplace can nonetheless amount to discrimination or harassment.

 

, , , ,

How an external investigation actually saved money for an employer

A recent Human Rights Tribunal decision demonstrates that the short-term financial costs of an external investigation might also be balanced out by long-term financial savings.

 

, , , , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with expected salary increases in 2020, worker reluctance to admit mental illness at work and discriminatory hiring practices.

 

, , , , , , ,

Looking in the mirror: Harassment in legal workplaces

Whether advocating for a client before the Human Rights Tribunal, drafting a Respect at Work Policy or assisting a client with engaging a workplace investigator, many lawyers are familiar with providing advice about harassment at work, but how many of us have thought about harassment in our own workplaces?

 

, , , , ,

Employer reminder: Summary hearing tool at the Human Rights Tribunal for allegations of bullying and harassment

An “Order for a Summary Hearing” is an employer’s tool to seek early dismissal of the Application on the basis that ‘there is no reasonable prospect that the Application will succeed’ at a full hearing. Hence, it should be dispensed quickly and efficiently.

 

, , , , , ,

BC’s 14 protected grounds of discrimination

The Federal government, along with every province and territory in Canada, has human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds such as race, gender and disability in a number of public environments.

 

, , ,

Equality when you are born this way … Not the same way

When it comes to employers navigating human resource issues and relationships with their employees, the concept of equal versus identical is even more obvious. For employers, “equal” does not mean the individual employees are all the same, but that they be given the same opportunities.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Alberta Human Rights Tribunal adopts findings of Workers’ Compensation Board

In Kebede v. SGS Canada Inc., 2019 AHRC 3, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a portion of a human rights complaint on the grounds that the issue was already decided by the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board.

 

, , ,

The Bikini Bistro and discrimination in the restaurant industry

An article recently came across my news feed that gave me pause. A new restaurant will be opening in Kamloops, BC, with a ‘unique’ dress code. As the name suggests, the Teenie Bikini Bistro will serve typical pub-style fare served by – wait for it –

 

, , , ,

Has BC Court opened the door to more court claims of harassment?

Since the early 1980s, plaintiffs have been precluded from bringing court actions solely predicated on suffering discrimination or harassment under human rights legislation.

 

,

Human rights – Your duty as an employer

In 2017, 66% of all human rights claims were employment-related. Employers have the duty to be compliant with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

, , ,

No skirting around the issue: Gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination appear to be on the rise

Employers who fail to take action when there are complaints of unlawful discrimination in the workplace are exposing themselves to serious potential liability, both from a financial and a reputational perspective.

 

, , , , , ,

Previous Posts