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Under the Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the Code), an employee cannot be terminated due to a disability. If the Human Rights Tribunal finds that the termination was based in part or in whole on a disability, this may be considered a breach of the Code. (more…)
Is an employer’s request for medical documentation after an employee’s illness in keeping with the Human Rights Code (“Code”)?
The recent case of Thompson v. 1552754 Ontario Inc. examines whether or not it is a breach of the Code for an employer to request medical documentation as a condition of returning an employee to work. (more…)
Under 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…)
Rule 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…)
The 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…)
The case of Smith v. The Rover’s Rest, 2013 HRTO 700 is a recent case dealing with sexual harassment and reprisal under the Human Rights Code of Ontario.
At the time of the incidents, the applicant, Debbie Smith was a 39-year-old mother being paid $7.00 per hour as a bartender at the Rover’s Rest in Ajax, Ontario. The applicant worked at the bar between February and September of 2009. On November 8, 2009 Ms. Smith filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging that the individual respondent, the manager and owner of the small business, Bruce Dorman had subjected her to sexual harassment and advances during employment. Further, the application alleged she was terminated when she refused these advances and when the respondent wrongly believed that she was in a relationship with someone else. She further alleged, that after she was terminated, the respondent delivered discriminatory, harassing and threatening letters to her. (more…)
When the Complainant, Caroline Wedley, was terminated from her job as a cleaner, she alleged that she was told by management that they were seeking to hire two men. When later she spotted two advertisements in her local paper requesting male applicants, Ms. Wedley filed a human rights application. (more…)
Constructive or adverse discrimination in employment occurs when rules or standards are established that do not discriminate at first glance, but have an adverse effect on persons whose rights are protected under human rights legislation. In such a case, the burden shifts to the employer to establish that such rules or standards are essential to the job, also known as bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR’s). British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU is the leading case which addresses this issue. This seminal human rights case from the Supreme Court of Canada established a three-part test which has become the standard to evaluate constructive discrimination. (more…)