Human Rights Law
Our team provides clients with strategic legal and practical advice to respond to the rapidly changing human rights laws across Canada. Human rights legislation is not like any other legislation. It is of utmost importance, referred to in law as being quasi-constitutional, creating overlapping or parallel responsibilities with other legislation. Employers have a legal obligation to ensure their workplace is free from discrimination and that human rights are respected and employees afforded equal opportunities. Human rights legislation is so important that it applies – or has primacy - to workplaces unless other laws expressly state it does not.
The Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”),
“is a provincial law that gives everybody equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific social areas such as jobs, housing, services, facilities, and contracts or agreements.
The Code's goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, sex, disability, and age, to name a few of the 17 grounds. All other Ontario laws must agree with the Code.”
Our team knows which laws apply to your workplace and why they apply helping you manage situations before and after they arise in your workplace.
The Ontario Human Rights Code applies to workplaces in Ontario while the Canadian Human Rights Act (“CHRA”) applies to workplaces in federal organizations or industries that are regulated by the federal government, including First Nations.
We have successfully represented clients at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Our prior success results in often having complaints dismissed at a preliminary stage, avoiding full hearings.
Our team regularly reviews, amends, and develops workplace specific policies, procedures, and guidelines with management on human rights issues.
Our team also conducts workplace investigations.
We also assist individuals with human rights complaints and have resolved difficult matters with creative “outside the box” solutions.
Human Rights Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Our team regularly reviews, amends, and develops workplace specific policies, procedures and guidelines with management on human rights issues. We also work with employers to revise or establish:
- compliant internal complaint procedures,
- dispute resolution processes,
- accommodation plans,
- attendance management programs,
- drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures, and
- workplace investigation processes.
Human Rights Training
Our team provides human rights and accommodation training specific to your workplace so that your team understands legal obligations which can reduce potential litigation risks to the employer.