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Policy on discrimination and language

Is “accent” protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

The applicant, originally from India, initially filed an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging reprisal in employment. The applicant alleged he had been offered a job and that during the training period, the trainer had made a number of remarks in regard to the applicant’s accent when speaking English.

 

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OHRC’s Policy on discrimination and language: Arnold v. Stream Global Services

As per the OHRC’s Policy on Discrimination and Language, although the Human Rights Code does not explicitly identify “language” as a prohibited ground of discrimination, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may consider claims under a number of related grounds, such as ancestry, ethnic origin, place of origin and in some circumstances, race. The 2010 matter of Arnold v. Stream Global Services offers an explicit interpretation of this policy.

 

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