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Membership in vocational associations and trade unions

Under the Code, you have the right to join and be treated equally in a union, professional association or other vocational association. This applies to membership in trade unions and self-governing professions, including the terms and conditions of membership, rates of pay and work assignments. It would include employees’, employers’ and managers’ associations.

Relevant policies and guides:

  1. A policy primer: Guide to developing human rights policies and procedures

    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.

  2. Your guide to special programs and the Human Rights Code

    December 2013 - Under the Code, all organizations are prohibited from treating people unfairly because of Code grounds, must remove barriers that cause discrimination, and must stop it when it occurs. Organizations can also choose to develop “special programs” to help disadvantaged groups improve their situation. The Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms both recognize the importance of addressing historical disadvantage by protecting special programs to help marginalized groups. The Supreme Court of Canada has also recognized the need to protect “programs” established by legislation that are designed to address the conditions of a disadvantaged group.

  3. Vocational associations and unions

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

    This section deals with your right to join and be treated equally in a union, professional or other vocational association.

    This applies to membership in trade unions and self-governing professions, including the terms and conditions of membership, rates of pay and work assignments. It would include employees’, employers’ and managers’ associations.

  4. Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Christian Horizons

    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.
  5. The duty to accommodate

    From: Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances

    The Code provides the right to be free from discrimination, and there is a general corresponding duty to protect the right: the ”duty to accommodate.” The duty arises when a person's religious beliefs conflict with a requirement, qualification or practice. The Code imposes a duty to accommodate based on the needs of the group of which the person making the request is a member. Accommodation may modify a rule or make an exception to all or part of it for the person requesting accommodation.

  6. 5. Undue hardship

    From: Policy and guidelines on disability and the duty to accommodate

    The Code sets out only three considerations. This means that no other considerations, other than those that can be brought into those three standards, can be properly considered under Ontario law. There have been cases that have included such other factors as employee morale or conflict with a collective agreement. However, the Ontario legislature has seen fit to enact a higher standard by specifically limiting undue hardship to three particular components.
  7. Count me in! Collecting human rights-based data

    2010 - This guide is intended to be a practical resource for human resources professionals, human rights and equity advisors, managers and supervisors, unions, and any other people or groups considering a data collection project, or seeking support to do so. This guide may be particularly helpful to readers with little or no knowledge of data collection. The guide will discuss the benefits of data collection, and will highlight key concepts and practical considerations for organizations thinking of gathering data on Code and non-Code grounds. Appendices A to F offer concrete examples of how non-profit, private and public-sector organizations have successfully developed and implemented data collection projects.
  8. Count me in! Collecting human rights based data - Summary (fact sheet)

    2010 - Many people think that collecting and analyzing data that identifies people on the basis of race, disability, sexual orientation and other Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) grounds is not allowed. But collecting data on Code grounds for a Code-consistent purpose is allowed and is supported by Canada’s human rights legislative framework. This summary is a brief overview of some of the key points raised in the guide.

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