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Appendix B – Human rights in the workplace: which laws?

From: Human Rights at Work 2008 - Third Edition

a) Federal legislation

i) Canadian Human Rights Act

The Canadian Human Rights Act (“CHRA”) applies to workplaces in federal organizations or industries that are regulated by the federal government. The Ontario Human Rights Code does not apply to such organizations. Both of these laws cannot apply at the same time. If one applies, the other does not.

The choice of incorporating statute does not determine whether a company is provincially or federally regulated. The CHRA covers workplaces such as:

6. Human rights protections

From: Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions

We heard that many people with psychosocial disabilities are unaware of their human rights. Some people identified experiences that extended beyond the right to be free from discrimination.  Because of this, it is important to understand how people’s experiences relate to human rights protected under domestic and international human rights documents.

2. Background

From: Minds that matter: Report on the consultation on human rights, mental health and addictions

The courts have long recognized the historical oppression of people experiencing mental illness or mental health disabilities.[1] In the Supreme Court of Canada case, R. v. Swain, Chief Justice Lamer wrote:

The mentally ill have historically been the subjects of abuse, neglect and discrimination in our society.  The stigma of mental illness can be very damaging.  The intervener, [Canadian Disability Rights Council], describes the historical treatment of the mentally ill as follows:

OHRC letter to the city of London regarding by-law number Z-1-122090 regulating methadone clinics and pharmacies

August 22, 2012 - We understand that the city passed by law number Z-1-122090 regulating methadone clinics in March 2012. As noted in our letter of February 24, 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the OHRC”) has concerns that this type of regulation may discriminate against people with addictions - who are protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”).

OHRC letter to the the Town of Tillsonburg regarding zoning By-Law for methadone clinics and dispensaries

June 21, 2012

Your Worship, I am writing to comment on By-Law Number 3636, which establishes “interim control provisions for the town of Tillsonburg to prohibit the establishment of new methadone clinics and methadone dispensaries for an interim period of up to one year in order to permit the completion of a planning study on the potential regulation of these uses.”

4. What are competing rights?

From: Policy on competing human rights

In general, competing human rights involve situations where parties to a dispute claim that the enjoyment of an individual or group’s human rights and freedoms, as protected by law, would interfere with another’s rights and freedoms. This complicates the normal approach to resolving a human rights dispute where only one side claims a human rights violation. In some cases, only one party is making a human rights claim, but the claim conflicts with the legal entitlements of another party or parties.

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