Just as students were headed back to school, a vigorous debate was unfolding on the pages of this paper (and others) about the accommodation of students with mental health disabilities. Unfortunately, this debate has been dominated by professors and columnists whose expertise lies outside human rights law and whose opinions do not adequately take into account the lived experience of discrimination.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. The Code provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services (including education, health care, etc.), contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. It covers specific grounds, such as disability, creed, family status, sex, and gender identity.
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination when they receive goods or services, or use facilities. “Services” is a broad category and can include privately or publicly owned or operated services.
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination in housing (“accommodation”). The Code applies to every part of buying or renting housing. This includes private, social, supportive and co-operative housing. When renting a place to live, the Code covers...
In employment, people with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everyone else. “Employment” includes employees, independent contractors and volunteers. The Code prohibits discrimination based on someone’s disability in all aspects of the employment relationship.
From: Competing Human Rights
Read the following news clipping about a recent competing rights case. This is an example of Charter rights (creed and sex) versus another Charter right (right to a fair trial).
You can also watch a short CTV News video about the case.
Published Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
April 2014 - People who are transgender, or gender non-conforming, come from all walks of life. Yet they are one of the most disadvantaged groups in society. Trans people routinely experience discrimination, harassment and even violence because their gender identity or gender expression is different from their birth-assigned sex. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) people are protected from discrimination and harassment because of gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations.
Under the Code, employers and unions, housing and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate the needs of people because of their gender identity or gender expression, unless it would cause undue hardship. The goal of accommodation is to help everyone have equal opportunities, access and benefits. Failure to accommodate may lead to a finding of discrimination under the Code.
A. Description and rationale
Under the Code, organizations are required to prevent and remove barriers and provide accommodation to the point of undue hardship. The principle of accommodation arises most frequently in the context of creed, family status, sex (pregnancy) and disability, as well as age, gender identity and gender expression.
December 2013 - The purpose of this guide is to provide organizations with some practical help for developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements, and for responding to human rights issues such as harassment, discrimination and accommodation needs. Employers, landlords and service providers all have an obligation to make sure that human rights are respected, and can all benefit from the information provided in this publication.