The Ontario Human Rights Commission ("OHRC") recently released a policy statement regarding vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates (the “Policy”). The Policy provides helpful guidance for employers.
The Ontario Human Rights Code lists a number of personal characteristics protected from discrimination: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. These personal characteristics are often referred to as “protected grounds”. An employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee on the basis of any protected ground.
Both Manitoba and Ontario recently added gender identity and gender expression to their human rights legislation as prohibited grounds of discrimination.