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Human Rights Violations

For Employees


The various Human Rights Codes in Canada prohibit actions that discriminate against people based on a protected ground in a protected social area.

Common protected grounds are:

  • Age
  • Ancestry, colour, race
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Place of origin
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status (including single status)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • Record of offences (in employment only)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation.

Employment is a protected social area that is regulated by various human rights codes. In the workplace, all acts of discrimination are expressly prohibited by various human rights and employment standards legislation.

Employees have the right to “equal treatment with respect to employment” in all aspects of employment, including:

  • Applying for positions
  • Recruitment
  • Training
  • Volunteering
  • Interning
  • Promotions
  • Dismissals/terminations
  • Layoffs
  • Wages
  • Hours worked
  • Holidays
  • Benefits
  • Discipline and performance evaluations etc.

Any act by the employer where the employee is worse off as a result of these grounds provides the employee with substantial remedies.

There are many ways that an employee could be discriminated against the workplace:

  • An employer cannot terminate an employee for going on pregnancy leave. Such an act would amount to discrimination based on sex.
  • Similarly, an employer may be found in violation of human rights legislation for failing to accommodate an employee with a disability.
  • Harassment is also considered a form of discrimination. Any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends you or makes you feel uncomfortable may constitute harassment.

It is important to note that employers are forbidden from retaliating against an employee who has filed a human rights complaint. In fact, your employer has obligations for providing an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.

Why choose employment lawyers at Levitt LLP?

Filing a human rights complaint against your employer can be a daunting task. The various stages of a human rights tribunal application can be complicated and timely.

Our knowledgeable employment lawyers can help you draft a human rights complaint to help ensure that your claim proceeds as expediently and successfully as possible. Our team of highly skilled employment lawyers are experts in the field of human rights and understand the proper procedure and policies required in handling human rights complaints. Our employment lawyers have argued on behalf of countless employees at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and various Courts, and can serve as a strong advocate and helpful guide in helping you through your difficult time.

From negotiating with the employer, to mediating a resolution, our employment lawyers are here to help. Each situation is unique, so talk with one of our employment lawyers to learn about how we can help you reduce the HR risks in your organization.




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