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Employment

The Code states that every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination or harassment because of 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.

The right to “equal treatment with respect to employment”  covers every aspect of the workplace environment and employment relationship, including job applications, recruitment, training, transfers, promotions, apprenticeship terms, dismissal and layoffs. It also covers rate of pay, overtime, hours of work, holidays, benefits, shift work, discipline and performance evaluations. 

Relevant policies and guides: 

  1. Guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures

    June 1996 - The purpose of this publication is to provide some practical guidance to organizations in developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements and to respond to human rights issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and accommodation needs. Employers, landlords and service providers all have an obligation to ensure that human rights are respected, and can all benefit from the information provided in this publication.
  2. Backgrounder - Human rights settlement reached with General Motors of Canada Ltd with respect to workers with citizenships other than Canadian Or American

    July 2007 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission has reached a settlement with a number of complainants and General Motors of Canada Limited, in complaints alleging discrimination on the ground of citizenship and place of origin.

  3. 3. Sexual harassment in employment

    From: Policy on preventing sexual and gender-based harassment

    While unequal power relationships exist in many sectors of society, they tend to appear the most in the workplace, where hierarchies are common. Both women and men may experience sexual harassment in employment, but women tend to be more vulnerable to harassment by men, because relative to men, more women hold lower-paying, lower-authority and lower-status jobs. At the same time, even women in positions of authority are not free from sexual harassment or inappropriate gender-related behaviour.[100]

  4. Employee benefit and pension plans

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

    Employment may not be denied or made conditional upon enrolment in a benefit or similar plan, which makes a distinction based on a Code ground. The general rule of non-discrimination in employment applies to pension plans, benefit plans and terms of group insurance except where reasonable and genuine distinctions or exclusions are based on age, marital status, family status or sex.

  5. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Ministry of Labour regarding the consultations on ending mandatory retirement

    September 2004 - This submission is in response to the Ministry of Labour’s public consultation on ending mandatory retirement.The Ontario Human Rights Commission (“OHRC”) commends the Ministry for these steps towards ending mandatory retirement.
  6. Exceptions

    From: Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances

    Discrimination or unequal treatment may be legally defensible in certain circumstances.

    1. Participating in special interest organizations

    First, s. 18 of the Code provides that religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social institutions that are primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons who are identified by their creed, may give priority to persons of the same creed with regard to participation or membership.

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