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  1. OHRC policy position on sexualized and gender-specific dress codes

    March 8, 2016 - Some Ontario employers require female employees to dress in a sexualized or gender-specific way at work, such as expecting women to wear high heels, short skirts, tight clothing or low-cut tops. These kinds of dress codes reinforce stereotypical and sexist notions about how women should look and may violate Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

  2. Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

    May 2013 - Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sex, and includes provisions that focus on sexual harassment. The principles set out in this policy will, depending on the circumstances, apply to instances of sexual harassment in any of the social areas covered by the Code. However, to reflect the most important recent developments in the law and in social science research, this policy will focus on the areas of employment, housing and education.

  3. Human rights, sexuality and religion: Between policy and identity

    From: Creed, freedom of religion and human rights - Special issue of Diversity Magazine - Volume 9:3 Summer 2012

    As important policy changes are discussed and opened to public response, the urgency to reflect more critically about the narrow and essentialized identity constructions within policy is evidenced. While there will continue to be conflict in the public arena regarding religion and sexuality, from those who identify solely with one aspect and condemn or criticize the other, our policies should be reflective and inclusive of more than these narrow assumptions; if our policies and the application of policies can become more adaptive in response to these challenges, perhaps the assumed inherent conflict can be managed with more productive, alternative strategies.

  4. Restrictions of facilities by sex

    From: Guide to your rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code

    This section allows separate washrooms, examination areas, change rooms and other services that are men-only or women-only. Trans people should be provided access to facilities that are consistent with their lived gender identity.[34]


    [34] For more information, see the OHRC’s Policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity (2000).

  5. 5. Emerging human rights protections

    From: Policy on preventing discrimination because of gender identity and gender expression

    5.1 Ontario

    In 1999, the OHRC took the position that the ground of sex under human rights law could be interpreted to include the right of transgender people to be free from discrimination and harassment.

    In 2000, the OHRC released its ground breaking Policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity (the original version of this policy). The OHRC and others successfully litigated that policy over the years, with tribunals and courts recognizing more and more the human rights of trans people.

  6. Re: Sexualized and gender-specific dress codes in restaurants

    July 8, 2016 - In pursuit of our public interest mandate, section 31 of the Code authorizes the OHRC to request production of documents and gather other information as part of an inquiry. Pursuant to section 31, we are writing to request that you review employee dress codes in your Ontario operations, remove any discriminatory requirements, and provide documentation showing that you have done this.

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