Do You Have to Put Up With “Locker-Room” Talk in the Workplace?

Blog Post
September 5, 2018
Read Time: 3 minutes

Many people face workplace sexual harassment on a daily basis. It can come in many forms, including derogatory comments, inappropriate touching, repeated advances, propositions, pressure to laugh at inappropriate jokes or being forced to look at explicit imagery. And it can be difficult to know what to do.

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.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Should I Do?

Blog Post
January 18, 2018
Read Time: 3 minutes

The sexual abuse allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein led to an outpouring of allegations against other powerful people in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. The workplace is an especially vulnerable place due to the obvious power imbalance between employees and their supervisors. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, what are your legal rights?

Courts show growing willingness to award damages when Charter rights are violated

Article
September 18, 2017
Read Time: 5 minutes

This article originally appeared in The Lawyers Daily on September 11, 2017, published by LexisNexis Canada Inc. The Supreme Court of Canada opened the door in 2010 for plaintiffs to seek damages from the government based on breaches of their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“the Charter“). In Ward v. Vancouver (City), 2010 SCC… Read more »

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.

Canada Commits to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Blog Post
June 6, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

This spring, the Government of Canada made strides towards implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and we can look forward to further developments in the coming months. UNDRIP is an international declaration that aims to ensure a “universal framework of minimum standards for survival, dignity and well-being of indigenous peoples of the world”.

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.