ACC – Keep an open mind when determining which relationships are covered by family status protection. For example, the Ontario Human Rights Code defines family status as “the status of being in a parent and child relationship.” This definition however, has been liberally interpreted by both courts and tribunals to include most parent and child “type” relationships including non-biological parent and child relationships and non-biological gay and lesbian parents. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has also taken the position that family status protection extends to individuals providing eldercare to aging parents. Given the aging population, employers should prepare for family status accommodation requests from employees who are looking after older parents with special needs.
Tag Archives: Jobs
Metro – Canadian employers have historically taken an ignorant view of human rights tribunals and their often extraordinary decisions. But that may be quickly changing.
Sweeping changes to human rights legislation and left-leaning adjudicators directed to interpret remedial legislation — such as human rights laws — in a broad and inclusive manner, should leave employers very concerned. Here are some of the reasons why…
Remember That Time You Told Gus That He Couldn’t Take The Weekend Off To Fly To Vegas? You Were Committing A Crime Against Humanity
National Post – The European Union has declared travelling a human right, and is launching a scheme to subsidize vacations with taxpayers’ dollars for those too poor to afford their own trips.
Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, proposed a strategy that could cost European taxpayers hundreds of millions of euros a year, The Times of London reports.
“Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life,” Mr. Tajani told a group of ministers at The European Tourism Stakeholders Conference in Madrid on April 15.
Annual Report 07/08 – Concerning the monetary claims, after looking at the constituent elements of the harassment experienced by the complainant, the Panel awarded $50,000 in general damages. On the claim for loss of income…the Panel awarded the sum of $425,058.00 for loss of income during the years 1997-2006.
StarPhoenix – Dora Cooke’s recent claim against HTS Engineering in Sudbury is illustrative of this. After eight months on the job, Cooke quit, asserting she was subjected to psychological harassment and bullying by Patrice Comeau, one of her supervisors. She sued for constructive dismissal.
Her accusations stemmed from an instance when Comeau, a high school acquaintance she had kept in touch with, called her boyfriend a loser, and a few occasions, when he called her pathetic or an idiot over her performance. Cooke also said Comeau raised his voice at personnel in head office and sometimes directed salty language toward suppliers.
Surprisingly, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice did not conclude Cooke was free to look elsewhere if she was unhappy. Instead, it listened to seven days of testimony in an attempt to sort out who called whom what. The judge found in Cooke’s favour, awarding her damages both for wrongful dismissal and mental distress.
Toronto Star – Ontario’s newly streamlined human rights watchdog is swamped with allegations of sex, race and disability discrimination, the Starhas found.
“We are really overwhelmed by our volume of cases now,” said Katherine Laird, the senior official whose job it is to support people who say they are victims. “Our phones are ringing off the hook.”
The Ontario Attorney General created a new human rights system nearly two years ago, making it easier for people with claims to get a hearing before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario…
Ontario Human Rights Commission chair Barbara Hall believes only a small number of cases are ever reported. “This is the tip of the iceberg,” she says.
Globe and Mail – Here’s a question for you: How many employees do you need before you have to start worrying about potential actions under federal or provincial human rights legislation? One? Ten? One hundred?
The answer is “yes.”…
If the BC Human Rights Tribunal is any guide, all you have to do is fire an employee who is absent from work for an extended period of time due to a medical disability by email and you could find yourself paying damages of $35,000 (not including legal fees) for “hurt feelings” because the employee was not terminated in person.
Financial Post – This conundrum is exacerbated by the new Human Rights Tribunal, which permits even the most frivolous complaint to proceed to a full hearing, at overwhelming costs to employers but at no cost to employees…
When employers are so unfortunate, they can expect to spend several years and potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, defending themselves while their business deteriorates. Their accusers can revel in their plight while they spend not a dime.
Globe and Mail – The Newfoundland and Labrador legislature opened Monday with a Throne Speech that promises to stress the progressive in the province’s Progressive Conservative government.
Lieutenant-Governor John Crosbie read the political blueprint, charting a course of investment in children, youth and human rights.
HRM Guide March 12 2010 – Statistics Canada reported that unemployment fell by 0.1% to 8.2% in February with substantial increases in full-time jobs (+60,000) offset by losses in part-time jobs (-39,000). Most of the increase (+46,000) was in public service jobs.
Seasonally adjusted, unemployment rates vary from 14.7% (Newfoundland and Labrador) to 4.3% (Saskatchewan).
CleoNet – It outlines the steps to follow if dismissed from employment, such as taking precautionary measures, calculating or estimating termination pay, and dealing with the former employer. Finally, it deals with choosing the best legal process for enforcing rights, including the Ministry of Labour, Small Claims Court, Human Rights Tribunal, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission – A Guide to Application Forms and Interviews:
That’s why the Code says employers can’t ask certain questions – those where the information might influence the selection process in a way that discriminates…
Before employment, a medical examination is not allowed. Employers can’t ask questions about an applicant’s medical history either…
[Drug] Testing identifies persons with disabilities and targets them for discriminatory treatment. Therefore, in most situations it will not be allowed under the Code…
Don’t ask about foreign addresses which would indicate national origin. Okay to ask about current and previous addresses in Canada and how long applicant stayed there…
5. Citizenship. Don’t ask about an applicant’s citizenship status – it would reveal applicant’s nationality, ancestry or place of origin. That includes questions about proof of citizenship or the date citizenship was received.
10. Sex. On the application form, don’t ask about the sex of an applicant.11. Age. Before hiring, don’t ask for any record (like birth certificate) or other information that would reveal the applicant’s age…
Southeast Texas Record – A CVS pharmacist alleges his employer discriminated against him because of his disability, then terminated him for complaining about the discrimination. He is suing the pharmacy chain for $3.5 million…
Mumfrey testified that the defendants committed defamation by issuing written disciplinary reprimands and classifying him as ineligible for re-hire.
CVS Pharmacy denies the allegations and argues that Mumfrey “does not have and never has suffered a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.”
Financial Post – Employees with disabilities do not enjoy preferred status. An employer has the right to establish reasonable standards of performance, relative to the disability, and require those standards to be met. If problems persist, they legally can terminate provided it is not tainted by discrimination.
I recommend the following steps as defence against allegations of discrimination…
Economist – IF YOU are a youngish man who sits on a European corporate board, you should worry: the chances are that your chairman wants to give your seat to a woman. In January the lower house of France’s parliament approved a new law which would force companies to lift the proportion of women on their boards to 40% by 2016. The law would oblige France’s 40 biggest listed firms to put women into 169 seats currently occupied by men. Spain has also introduced a quota at 40%, to be reached by 2015. Italy and the Netherlands are contemplating similar measures. This week Britain’s government threatened to make companies report formally on their recruitment of female directors.