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Employment

The 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, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.

The right to “equal treatment with respect to employment”  covers every aspect of the workplace environment and employment relationship, including job applications, recruitment, training, transfers, promotions, apprenticeship terms, dismissal and layoffs. It also covers rate of pay, overtime, hours of work, holidays, benefits, shift work, discipline and performance evaluations. 

Relevant policies and guides: 

  1. Guidelines on developing human rights policies and procedures

    June 1996 - The purpose of this publication is to provide some practical guidance to organizations in developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements and to respond to human rights issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and accommodation needs. Employers, landlords and service providers all have an obligation to ensure that human rights are respected, and can all benefit from the information provided in this publication.
  2. Submission of the Ontario Human Rights Commission to the Ministry of Labour regarding the consultations on ending mandatory retirement

    September 2004 - This submission is in response to the Ministry of Labour’s public consultation on ending mandatory retirement.The Ontario Human Rights Commission (“OHRC”) commends the Ministry for these steps towards ending mandatory retirement.
  3. Exceptions

    From: Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances

    Discrimination or unequal treatment may be legally defensible in certain circumstances.

    1. Participating in special interest organizations

    First, s. 18 of the Code provides that religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social institutions that are primarily engaged in serving the interests of persons who are identified by their creed, may give priority to persons of the same creed with regard to participation or membership.

  4. Testing

    From: Policy on HIV/AIDS-related discrimination

    Testing for HIV infection would constitute a medical examination. It is the OHRC's position that any medical examination carried out for employment purposes should focus on verifying whether or not an individual is able to perform the essential duties of a particular job.

    Employers considering any form of employment-related medical testing should refer to the OHRC's Human Rights At Work, 3rd. Ed. (2008) and the Policy on Employment-Related Medical Information.

  5. Employment

    From: Time for action: Advancing human rights for older Ontarians

    Employment is fundamental to ensuring equal participation and equal opportunity in society. It has a direct bearing on a person’s economic status while the person is in the workforce and afterwards. Therefore, any examination of age discrimination in employment must consider the effects of practices and policies on the person while they are working as well as after they have retired. It must also consider the effect on society as a whole.

  6. IX. Employment

    From: Policy and guidelines on discrimination because of family status

    To a significant degree, the workplace is still built on the assumption that families are composed in a ‘traditional’ fashion, of two married heterosexual parents, one of whom is providing full-time caregiving for children, aging relatives, and other family members as necessary. Work schedules, policies and benefits all too often reflect the assumption that employees do not have substantial caregiving obligations. The corollary to this assumption is the belief that workers who do have substantial caregiving obligations are in some way inferior and undesirable employees.

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