Morrison Reist Krauss - Employment Law

Received A Human Rights Complaint? Start Here.

According to the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act, employers are responsible for creating a work environment where employees are treated with respect and are free from discrimination and harassment.

This seems simple, but Canadian human rights laws are always evolving. Further muddying the waters is the fact that employees don’t have to prove intent in order to win a discrimination case.

If you have found yourself on the receiving end of a human rights complaint, Morrison Reist Krauss will be there for you throughout the entire process. We can assist you with maintaining compliance and finding reasonable resolutions to complex human rights issues.

What You Need To Know

As an employer, it is critical for you to know your obligations under the law and get upfront advice to assist you in taking responsive ‒ and proactive ‒ approaches to create a positive workplace culture, while also reducing exposure to potential claims of human rights violations

When it comes to human rights, there are a few things every employer needs to know:

  • In respect of employment there are 16 prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code (listed below) and similar categories exist under the Canadian Human Rights Act for federally regulated employers:
    • Age
    • Ancestry, colour, race, or creed
    • Citizenship, ethnic origin, or place of origin
    • Disability
    • Family status, or marital status (including single status)
    • Gender identity, gender expression
    • Record of offences (in employment only)
    • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding) and sexual orientation
Female employer handling human rights complaint
  • Human rights issues are varied and arise in the workplace frequently, they may include: accommodating disabilities, managing extended or chronic workplace absences, time off for religious holidays, pregnancy or paternal leaves, parental responsibilities – issues surrounding sexual harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender
  • If you are served with a human rights complaint you have limited time within which to respond. Getting counsel on board early will enable you to file an effective response and position you well for any future mediation, or hearing if the matter cannot be resolved
  • A possible remedy for an employee’s human rights complaint, in addition to lost wages, is a request to be reinstated with full back wages. Also available is damages to compensate for intangible injuries, being hurt to dignity, self esteem and self respect

Get Informed: At Last – Guidance on Required Medical Documentation in Disability / Accommodation Situations

Morrison Reist Krauss - Family Law

Find Reasonable, Practical Solutions

Our goal is to help you understand the law and reach your overall objectives. Often this will mean advising on human rights issues when, and as, they arise in the day-to-day context of the workplace. We’ll be here to help you find reasonable and practical solutions.

When, despite your best efforts, you are faced with a legal proceeding we have the experience to represent your interests before the courts and human rights tribunals. Morrison Reist Krauss acts on behalf of clients in human rights matters pertaining to:

  • Human rights complaints
  • Accommodations of disabilities
  • Return to work processes
  • Performance management
  • Termination and severance
  • Sexual harassment

Contact our team of experts today to help resolve your human rights complaint.

Call today: 519.576.5351 or Toll Free: 1.800.354.5723

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