Workplace discrimination is treating someone differently because of his or her race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion or other personal characteristics. The Ontario human Rights Code states that “every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination or harassment because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.”
You are protected from workplace discrimination at every stage of your relationship with your employer:
- Before you are hired: this includes recruitment, application, interviews, and referrals.
- During your employment: this includes rate of pay, promotions, training, dress code, overtime, hours of work, benefits, holidays, discipline, performance evaluations and transfers.
- When your employment ends: this includes dismissal and layoffs.
An employer must provide reasonable accommodation (when possible to do so without serious hardship to the business) to meet the requirements of those with special needs. Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
- Making the workplace wheelchair accessible
- Providing hearing and visual aids
- Adapting work duties to pregnancy and illness.
- Providing flexible hours to allow for religious observance
Filing a Complaint
Write everything down. This will help you remember all the details. Firstly, try to resolve the dilemma informally with your employer. Request a meeting with your supervisor or manager. Address your issue and make a suggestion as to how it can be improved. If a solution cannot be agreed upon, or your employer is not willing to ameliorate the issue, you should take your issue to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. The OHRT handles issues of workplace discrimination. Using the Complaints Guides will assist you on how to make an official complaint with the OHRT. Hiring a workplace discrimination lawyer will make this an easier process for you and will ensure you receive the treatment you deserve.
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