Toronto – The OHRC today launched its updated Policy on drug and alcohol testing. This Policy offers guidance to Ontario employers and employees about drug and alcohol testing, and about the potential human rights concerns arising from testing.
- Why isn’t it an obvious violation of human rights to do mandatory collection of an employee’s fluids or breath that could reveal a disability?
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) recognizes that it is a legitimate goal for employers to have a safe workplace. Safety at work can be negatively affected by many factors, including fatigue, stress, distractions and hazards in the workplace. Drug and alcohol testing is one method employers sometimes use to address safety concerns arising from drug and alcohol use. Drug and alcohol testing has particular human rights implications for people with addictions. Addictions to drugs or alcohol are considered “disabilities” under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). The Code prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and perceived disabilities in employment, services, housing and other social areas.
Supplementary Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ Provincial Segregation Review
On Thursday, September 29, 2016, Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane launched the OHRC’s Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability. The OHRC introduced its first policy on disability in 2001. Since that time, there have been many important case law developments, new international human rights standards, and evolving social science research.
It is an unfortunate truth that the history of disabled persons in Canada is largely one of exclusion and marginalization.
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination when they receive goods or services, or use facilities. “Services” is a broad category and can include privately or publicly owned or operated services.
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination in housing (“accommodation”). The Code applies to every part of buying or renting housing. This includes private, social, supportive and co-operative housing. When renting a place to live, the Code covers...
In employment, people with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everyone else. “Employment” includes employees, independent contractors and volunteers. The Code prohibits discrimination based on someone’s disability in all aspects of the employment relationship.
The Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario.
The Code prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and perceived disabilities in employment, services, housing and other social areas. Under the Code, disabilities include addictions to drugs and alcohol.