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Employers get expert help on human rights in the workplace

November 5, 2008

Toronto – The new edition of a human rights handbook will help employers put human rights into action. The Ontario Human Rights Commission today released the newly-updated third edition of Human Rights at Work. This plain-language guide includes examples, best practices, sample forms and other resources to help people develop and maintain inclusive, respectful workplaces that meet the standards of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Commission launches report calling for collective housing strategy

July 8, 2008

Toronto - Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall and the Ontario Human Rights Commission today launched “Right at home: Report on the consultation on human rights and rental housing in Ontario.” This report, which follows a year of public sessions, meetings and submissions involving hundreds of individuals and organizations across the province, focuses on housing as a human right, and sets out a framework for collective action to identify, remove and prevent discrimination in rental housing.

Human Rights system changes take effect

June 30, 2008

Toronto - The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 30 is now in effect. As a result, the Ontario Human Rights Commission will no longer accept complaints of discrimination. All new applications alleging discrimination are to be filed with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). Complaints that were filed with the Commission before June 30, 2008 can be changed to applications to the HRTO if the Complainant takes an active step to do so.

OHRC marks opening of fishing season with update on Asian Canadian fishing inquiry

April 8, 2008

Toronto - Last December, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released preliminary findings from its inquiry into discrimination and harassment including instances of assault against Asian Canadian anglers. Since that time, the Commission has made progress working with key players across the province, including government ministries, municipalities, community organizations and fishing/sporting associations.

New human rights policy to modernize struggle against racism in Ontario

June 28, 2005

Toronto - “It is time organizations and institutions acknowledge the reality of racism and be prepared to act against subtle and sometimes subconscious prejudices and stereotypes that too often result in discrimination”, said Keith Norton, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission today as he announced the release of the Commission’s Policy and Guidelines on Racism and Racial Discrimination.

Human rights commissions and economic and social rights

2001 - This paper is one of several initiatives by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to explore ways in which human rights commissions can become more involved in protecting and promoting economic and social rights and in implementing international treaties to which Canada is a party. The challenge for human rights commissions is to find ways to maximize the potential of their mandates to promote international standards, including those contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Policy on height and weight requirements

June 1996 - Standards for height and weight are sometimes used to screen or evaluate job applicants. In the OHRC's experience, this tends to occur in recruitment for occupations that traditionally have been male dominated. These standards or selection criteria are based on the average physical stature of men in the majority population group. Women and members of racialized groups are, on the average, physically smaller than members of the majority population group. Consequently, these groups tend to be disadvantaged by height and weight criteria. The policy of the OHRC with regard to such recruitment practices is set out below. This policy applies to all height and weight criteria used in the context of employment.

Policy on discrimination and language

June 1996 - This policy statement sets out the OHRC’s position on language-based discrimination in the areas of employment, accommodation, services, contracts, and membership in trade unions, trades, occupational associations or self-governing professions. Although the Code does not explicitly identify "language" as a prohibited ground of discrimination, the Human Rights tribunal of Ontario may consider claims under a number of related grounds, such as ancestry, ethnic origin, place of origin and in some circumstances, race. In the Commission's experience, language can be an element of a complaint based on any of these grounds.

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