March 2012 - A story this week in the Toronto Star told of a candidate for a job with a police service who was asked, at an interview, to provide the password for his Facebook page. The story provoked a discussion on the blog of law professor David Doorey; is asking for such information contrary to Ontario’s Human Rights Code?
From: Competing Human Rights
May 2013 - If you want to tell your employees, clients and community that your organization respects human rights, there’s an easy way to get started. Just print out and display a Code card.
The Code protects people from discrimination in specific situations. Under the Code, you have the right to be free from discrimination in five parts of society – called social areas – based on one or more grounds.
The five social areas are: employment, housing, services, unions and vocational associations and contracts.
Status and Purpose of the Code
The Code is quasi-constitutional legislation which has primacy over all other legislation in Ontario, unless the other legislation specifically states that it applies despite the Code. This means that if another piece of legislation contains a provision which conflicts with or contravenes the Code, the Code will prevail.
The Ontario Human Rights Code recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of every person in Ontario. The Preamble makes particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the inherent principles of dignity and equal and inalienable rights of the person. The creation of a society in which all persons can live and work in an environment that is free from discrimination is central to the policy objectives of the OHRC by virtue of the Code.
”Discrimination“ in human rights law does not simply mean treating someone differently. In human rights law, it means treating someone differently because of personal characteristics that are based on the grounds set out in the Code.
This section of the paper surveys the balancing tools found in the Code and relevant case law. Documents such as Commission briefing notes and Policy Papers provide invaluable commentary on these tools and their insights are woven into the following discussion. The goal of this section is to identify the resources for balancing conflicting rights that will be utilized in the scenarios discussed in Section IV.