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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. Re: Input for Canada’s 2011 ILO (International Labour Organization) Article 22 Report on Discrimination (Employment & Occupation) Convention

    June 21, 2011 - Please find attached a copy of a briefing note prepared by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in the form requested by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour submitted to the Ministry for its input into Canada’s report on Convention 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation as it pertains to the mandate of the OHRC.
  2. Re: Initial Proposed Employment Accessibility Standard

    May 22, 2009 - The Commission recognizes the hard work of the Employment Accessibility Standards Development Committee in preparing the initial proposed Standard that sets out important requirements to help workplaces become fully accessible for applicants and employees with disabilities. The Commission’s submission details a number of issues for consideration by the Committee as it works to develop the final proposed standard.
  3. Letter to the Minister of Labour regarding Bill 168 Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace) 2009

    May 22, 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission believes this type of legislation, which includes requirements for employers to develop policies and programs, provide information, have regard for domestic violence, and take action, is very important for helping to protect and promote the human rights of individuals at work. While the Bill’s definition of “workplace violence” is restricted to “physical force” against a co-worker, the Commission is pleased to see provisions in the Bill addressing both violence and harassment, including a definition of harassment covering both unwelcome conduct and comment, consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  4. Letter to the Attorney General regarding Police record checks on potential jurors

    June 4, 2009 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission was concerned to learn this past week about broad police record checks being conducted on some jury pools. While this matter raises important issues around disclosure, impartiality, judicial fairness, privacy, and informed consent, there are also human rights implications for individuals with mental health disabilities under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.
  5. OHRC letter to the former Ontario Insurance Commission

    From: Discussion paper: Human rights issues in insurance

    November 28, 1997 - In accordance with PART IV, s.36 of the Ontario Insurance Commission’s (“the OIC”) Rules of Practice and Procedure for Commissioner, Superintendent and Advisory Board Hearings, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the Commission”) submits this letter of comment with respect to the public hearing to be held on an application filed by (the insurer) for an automobile insurance classification system and automobile insurance rates.
  6. Ontario Public Service (OPS) Gender Identity Policy: OHRC letter to Minister MacCharles

    June 15, 2017 - Dear Minister MacCharles, I trust this finds you well. I am writing to commend you on your Ministry’s leadership in development of the new OPS Gender Identity Policy - Gender Identity and Sex Information on Public-Facing Government Products and Forms, and to call on you to build on this important work by removing other human rights barriers that face people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions across government.

  7. Strengthening Bill 3 (“Pay Transparency Act”) to protect human rights

    April 18, 2018 - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) welcomes the opportunity to provide comments on Bill 3, An Act respecting transparency of pay in employment (the Bill). The OHRC is encouraged by the Bill’s potential to narrow the persistent gender pay gap and other employment discrimination. To be most effective, the draft legislation requires amendments as outlined below.