Freedom from Discrimination

AuthorPaul Wearing
Freedom from Discrimination
What You Should Know
An employer “has a duty to provide a discrimination-free workplace.”1
In Ontario, the protection of equal rights and opportunity is regulated
by the Human Rights Code (HRC),2 which is administered by the Ontario
Human Rights Commission. The commission drafts p olicies to promote
and protect human rights. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO)
enforces compliance with the HRC through interpretation and applica-
tion of the policies developed by the Human Rights Commission.
This chapter will address discrimination and harassment on ly in
A violation of the HRC does not require proof of an intention to discrim-
inate. A prohibited act once proven, regardless of the reason, will be a
violation. Discrimination and harassment of persons is prohibited in em-
ployment, accommodation (housing), contracts, services, and vocational
associations. The HRC recognizes a bona f‌ide occupational requirement
for a job, which relieves an employer of liability for what would otherwise
be found to be a discriminatory policy, practice, rule, or performance
Complaints alleging violation of the HRC are adjudicated by the
HRTO and must be f‌iled within one year of the date of the alleged inci-

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