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Res judicata revisited at HRTO and OLRB

The legal doctrine of res judicata can cause an Application at the Human Rights Tribunal to be dismissed. This was the case in Chen v. Harris Rebar. (more…)

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Employers: Are your job ads in keeping with the Code?

jobWhen does a job advertisement breach the Ontario Human Rights Code? The same question was asked and answered in Wedley v. Northview Co-operative Homes Inc.2008 HRTO 13.

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…)

Remedial powers of the Human Rights Tribunal

justiceOften employers are unaware of the pitfalls of becoming embroiled in a Human Rights application. Employers are sometimes shocked to find that the Tribunal’s powers not only lay in monetary awards, but also in non-monetary, as well as future compliance or public interest remedies. If an employer is found to have breached the Code, below are just some examples of such powers and remedies which the Tribunal may order. (more…)

Family status: Recent interpretation under the Human Rights Code

handsRequests for accommodation due to family status are becoming more common as societal norms continue to change. The leading case in Ontario that addresses the worker’s rights and the employer’s obligations on the ground of family status is arguably Devaney v. ZRV Holdings Limited, 2012 HRTO 1590. The case confirms that an employer’s failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s family caregiving responsibilities may result in a breach of the Human Rights Code (“Code”), and that family status has now been interpreted to include elder care. (more…)

Constructive discrimination: The case of Tawney Meiorin

Sambrano Legal Humn Rights Toronto On

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…)

Is the appearance of “youth” a bona fide occupational qualification?

younglookingOn September 16, 2008, Kimberly Ouwroulis filed a Human Rights complaint alleging discrimination based on her age. The complaint was filed after she was terminated from a strip club, allegedly, for being too old. [1] Ms. Ouwrouls was employed as an exotic dancer and was 44 years of age at the time.The Code

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