Work, paid or unpaid, is a fundamental part of realizing dignity, self-determination and a person’s full potential in society. In Ontario, people are protected from discrimination based on disability in employment. Employment includes paid employment, volunteer work, student internships, special job placements, and temporary, contract, seasonal or casual employment. Many consumer/survivors or people with addictions expressed their desire to work or volunteer, but could not without the accommodation they needed.
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:
- Policy on removing the "Canadian experience" barrier
- Human rights at work 2008 - 3rd edition
- Guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures
- Policy on employment-related medical information
- Policy on drug and alcohol testing
- Policy on requiring a drivers license as a condition of employment
- Human rights maturity model (Canadian Human Rights Commission)
This submission outlines recent developments for the reporting period June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012 related to discrimination in employment and the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (the OHRC) mandate. It includes OHRC activities, recent case law and comment regarding relevant ILO Committee observations and direct requests.
May 2012 - What follows is a discussion of significant legal decisions dealing with religious and creed rights in Canada. The focus is on decisions made since the Commission issued its 1996 Policy on Creed and the Accommodation of religious observances. It does not review every decision, but those that may be important from a human rights perspective. In addition to a description of the case law, trends and areas where it is anticipated the case law will continue to evolve or be clarified are identified. The review will form the basis for further research and dialogue concerning the law in Canada as it relates to this significant area of human rights.
Employers, housing providers, educators and other responsible parties covered by the Code have the ultimate responsibility for maintaining an inclusive environment that is free from discrimination and harassment, and where everyone’s human rights are respected. Organizations and institutions operating in Ontario have a legal duty to take steps to prevent and respond to situations involving competing rights.
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?
The right to “equal treatment with respect to employment” protects persons in all aspects of employment, including applying for a job, recruitment, training, transfers, promotions, terms of apprenticeship, dismissals, layoffs and terminations. It also covers rate of pay, codes of conduct, overtime, hours of work, holidays, benefits, shift work, performance evaluations and discipline. A fundamental starting point for complying with the Code in relation to all of these is to have a workplace setting where human rights are respected and applied.
There are many tools available to assist employers in engaging in employment systems reviews to identify systemic barriers to racialized persons as well as others identified by Code grounds such as women and employees with disabilities.
People with mental health disabilities or addictions often face barriers to finding and keeping jobs. People with serious mental health disabilities tend to have very high rates of unemployment.
This document explains the legal backdrop for the Commission’s Policy Framework. It is divided into two main sections. The first provides an overview and summary of key legal principles from some significant legal decisions. This section aims to help readers understand the relevant legal background when seeking to conciliate or otherwise reconcile competing rights claims. The second part of the document surveys the leading cases that deal with competing rights. It also provides examples of situations where the leading cases, and the key principles from them, have been applied by courts and tribunals. It is divided by the types of rights conflicts that most commonly arise. The cases are discussed in some detail as the specific factual context of each case is so important to the rights reconciliation process.
On May 14, 2010, Ontario’s Divisional Court issued a decision on a case called Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Christian Horizons. The Divisional Court’s ruling was on the appeal of a 2008 decision made by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. In that decision, the Tribunal found that Christian Horizons infringed the rights of an employee who was in a same sex relationship.