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Sex based discrimination and poisoned work environment

Sambrano Human rightsDoes an employee have to be “sexually” harassed in order for there to be a breach of the Human Rights Code (“Code”)? This issue was determined in Hill v. Intersteam Technologies Inc., a recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

Background

The applicant, Kelly Hill, worked in a small workplace. She was employed with the corporate respondent, Intersteam Technologies Inc., for only a short period of time from May of 2013 until November 2013. (more…)

Family status under the Code: Recent developments

Sambrano Human rights marital statusThe seminal cases dealing with discrimination based on family status more often than not address the issue of caregiving. See: Family status: Recent interpretation under the Human Rights Code. See: Employee not discriminated against as breastfeeding a “choice”- Federal Court of Appeal Decision. In the recent case, Knox-Heldmann v. 1818224 Ontario Limited o/a Country Style Donut, the Tribunal demonstrates that discrimination based on family status is not restricted to caregiving. (more…)

Tribunal orders pharmacy to pay $8,000.00 as a result of racial profiling

sambrano legal racial profilingUnder section 46.3 (1) of Ontario’s Human Rights Code, an employer may be vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees. Such was the case in the recent Human Rights Tribunal decision of McCarthy v. Kenny Tan Pharmacy Inc.. [i]

Simply put, an organization is responsible for discrimination that occurs through the acts of its employees or agents, whether or not it had any knowledge of, participation in or control over these actions.[ii][iii] (more…)

Gender identity and gender expression in employment: Vanderputten v. Seydaco Packaging Corp.

Sambrano Legal Paralegal Human rights Toronto

On June 19, 2012 the Human Rights Code (Ontario) was amended adding two new protected grounds of discrimination, namely “gender identity” and “gender expression”. The first interpretation of these new grounds was examined in the Human Rights Tribunal decision in (more…)

No reasonable prospect of success: Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135:

sambrano legal human rights paralegal domRule 19A of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure, allow the Tribunal to hold a summary hearing to determine whether the Application should be dismissed in whole or in part on the basis that there is no reasonable prospect that the Application or part of the Application will succeed.[i] This was the case in Howell v. United Steelworkers, Local 7135. (more…)

Non-disclosure clauses in human rights settlements: Understand them before you sign on the dotted line

filler-1101493At the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “Tribunal”), a settlement is sometimes reached without having to resort to a hearing. If so, parties will sign a “Minutes of Settlement” agreement, which will almost always contain a non-disclosure clause outlining what can be said, if anything, in regard to the settlement. In the event that a party breaches the non-disclosure agreement, they may find themselves returning to the Tribunal sooner than expected. (more…)

The cost of racial stereotyping: Adams v. Knoll North America

Human Rights Sambrano LegalThe applicant, Colin Adams who identifies as Black, worked as a machine operator at Knoll North America Corp. (“Knoll”) for 9 years. Following a verbal altercation with his supervisor, the applicant was terminated after he refused to partake in an anger management program as a requirement of his continued employment. (more…)

Employee not discriminated against as breastfeeding a “choice”- Federal Court of Appeal Decision

Toronto Sambrano paralegal human rights

The recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal of Flatt v. Canada (Attorney General), addresses the employer’s duty to accommodate. Ms. Laura Flatt, the applicant, sought a judicial review from the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (Board) after her grievance against her employer, the Treasury Board of Canada, was dismissed. The applicant had filed her grievance based on discrimination on the grounds of sex and family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act. (more…)

Workplace religious accommodation: A two-part obligation under human rights

scales-159031Under the Human Rights Code (Ontario), the duty to accommodate in the workplace is a two-part obligation. Employers who do not make at least a reasonable effort to comply with this obligation can find themselves having to pay a financial price. This was the reality in Qureshi v. G4S Security Services, 2009.

Facts of the case

The applicant, Muhammad Quersih, a male of Muslim Faith, was being considered for a security guard position. (more…)

No “give and take” required by employee in accommodation under the Human Rights Code

Toronto human rights advocate human rightsThe applicant, Michele Macan, filed a human rights application alleging discrimination with respect to employment due to disability. The respondent, Stongco Limited Partnership, rejected the allegations, instead submitting that the applicant’s disability was “not a reason, a factor, or even considered in its decision to terminate the applicant”.[1]

The respondent alleged that her termination was a result of a restructuring within the applicant’s department. The hearing was held over the course of 3 days.

Background

Prior to the applicant being hired, the applicant had been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition which required frequent time off from work. At the time of her termination, the applicant had worked (more…)

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