Denying Employees’ Benefits Based on Age is Discrimination and Unconstitutional

Blog Post
August 23, 2018
Read Time: 4 minutes

While mandatory retirement ended over ten years ago, older workers are unfortunately not immune from age-related discrimination. In Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario looked at a situation where an older worker lost his benefits when he reached the age of 65.

Discrimination in Canada’s Prisons: Risk Assessment Tools and Indigenous Prisoners

Blog Post
August 14, 2018
Read Time: 3 minutes

A recent Supreme Court of Canada case, Ewert v. Canada, found that some of the risk assessment tests employed by Canada’s prison system may in fact discriminate against Indigenous prisoners. The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) and the Native Women’s Association of Canada intervened on this case at the Supreme Court of Canada. Pam MacEachern and Natasha Chettiar represented CAEFS on a pro bono basis.

Ontario election expected to determine survival of Human Rights Code amendments

Blog Post
May 22, 2018
Read Time: 4 minutes

Proposed changes to Ontario’s Human Rights Code that would have prevented discrimination based on social condition, genetic characteristics, immigration status and police records, was quashed when Ontario’s 41st Parliament was dissolved on May 8, 2018. However, lawyers practicing in areas that involve human rights should remain aware that the proposed amendments represent significant changes to human rights law in Ontario.

A Much-Needed Amendment to Ontario’s Human Rights Code

Blog Post
May 2, 2018
Read Time: 4 minutes

On October 4, 2017, Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers introduced a private member’s bill titled the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017 (“Bill 164”). If passed, Bill 164 would amend Ontario’s Human Rights Code to add four new prohibited grounds of discrimination: social condition, genetic characteristics, immigration status and police records. This post explores the definitions of these new grounds, and the implications for employers and employees.

Bill C-16 and Transgender Rights

Blog Post
July 19, 2017
Read Time: 2 minutes

Last month Bill C-16 was finally given royal assent. The bill, which adds protection of gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, received a 67-14 vote in favour of the bill in the Senate. The passing of the law is regarded by many as a historic moment, bringing federal human rights laws in line with the provinces and territories.

Women Without Heels and Full Makeup Need Not Apply

Blog Post
April 6, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

In recent months, there has been significant international media coverage on differential treatment of men and women with respect to workplace attire. What rights do unionized employees have with respect to differential clothing requirements for men and women?

No Shorts? No Jeans? No Legitimate Reason For a Policy on Work Attire!

Article
January 29, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

In June of 2015, a B.C. arbitrator ruled that a workplace policy restricting employees from wearing shorts and jeans was an unreasonable restriction on their personal rights. This decision, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1767 v BC Assessment Authority, reaffirms the well-established law on rules relating to personal appearance.