A few years ago, my mother was submitting an online job application and mentioned to me that one of the questions asked whether the applicant was a visible minority. She told me that she left the answer blank so that she wouldn’t be used as a “token” to “check a box” – literally and figuratively
In the summer of 2020, there was an incident involving a City of Toronto Municipal Standards Officer, Michael Rushton, and two Black women, Eva Amo-Mensah and Deborah Ampong (the “complainants”).
As awareness and understanding of gender diversity grows, more transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons are feeling supported and empowered to express their gender identities in the workplace.
It is readily acknowledged that the origins of “Pride” started on June 28, 1969, when police officers raided New York City’s Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, beating and harassing bar patrons and arresting 13 employees who were considered in violation of various gendered state legislation.
In 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) released its decision in Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), reversing a trial court decision and definitively ruling there to be no independent tort of harassment. The plaintiff, an employee of a police force, had made a claim of harassment and bullying which he asserted negatively impacted his career and caused him emotional distress.
Lately I have noticed a renewed focus and attention placed on the racial identities of neutral decision makers and fact finders, and on the question of whether this is something we should be concerning ourselves with when selecting one.
We’ve been hearing much talk about the “Great Resignation” – specifically, between April and September 2021, more than 24 million American employees left their jobs, an all-time record. While the same hasn’t yet been seen in Canada, experts speculate that this may just be delayed…
As an investigator at Rubin Thomlinson LLP who specializes in sexual harassment investigations, I understand how challenging these can be. These investigations need to be approached with not only sensitivity and empathy, but with up-to-date knowledge of the law.