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human rights claim

Doctor’s note not always a ticket to a successful human rights claim

When I was in high school and university, it was not uncommon for a few of my classmates to fall ill during exams or just prior to a major test. When explaining to the teacher the next day why they were not present to write the test, one of the more common responses from the teacher would be, “Bring a doctor’s note.”


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Back to basics: HRTO follows Figliola and refuses to allow relitigation of WSIB claim

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v Figliola. The Figliola decision addressed the issue of the relitigation by human rights tribunals of issues already addressed in other proceedings.


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Bill 147: Recovering legal costs at the Ontario human rights tribunal

On December 4, 2013, the Ontario government introduced Bill 147, Human Rights Code Amendment Act (Awarding of Costs), 2013 which gives the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal the power to make cost orders against employers and employees. If Bill 147 is passed into law then the Tribunal would have a number of decisions to make.


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Abuse of process to file human rights application after executing a full and final release

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.


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Termination in haste cost the employer dearly

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.


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Employer was permitted to contract out of human rights obligations

I read an interesting case recently that could be considered controversial: an employer was permitted to contract out of its human rights obligations with some vulnerable employees who were at an economic disadvantage and who experienced significant language barriers. How did the employer accomplish this? The employer added a provision in its termination letter that offered the employees consideration in exchange for signing releases preventing them from launching a human rights complaint.


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