While the Ontario Human Rights Code has been interpreted in a liberal manner, there are situations where employees will experience workplace discrimination that falls beyond its scope. One area where it remains unclear to what extent the Code will apply, however, is with respect to vegan employees.
New York-based bank JP Morgan Chase has recently been getting a lot of attention in the media after paying a hefty 5 million dollars to settle charges that their parental leave policy was discriminatory towards their male employees. It is believed that the settlement will impact up to 5,000 fathers who were denied parental leave benefits.
The question of "can an employee “sign away” their human rights?" became relevant in a recent case. After signing a release with her employer, the Applicant filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination with respect to employment because of sex contrary to the Human Rights Code.