Racial discrimination can often be subtle and difficult to detect, particularly in fluid and dynamic situations such as those involving law enforcement. But as a recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision indicates, police action that is ostensibly intended to maintain public safety can nonetheless amount to race-based discrimination.
In a recent blog, my colleague Katharine Montpetit discussed three pivotal human rights cases involving anti-Black racism. These cases demonstrate an advancing awareness of how anti-Black racism manifests in the workplace; arguably, this awareness has grown and changed even since some of these decisions were released.
The breadth of human rights cases may make it seem daunting for investigators to delve into the legal principles relating to discrimination. However, as workplace investigators, it is incumbent upon us to be informed of these principles. We have summarized in this blog some legal principles that can help guide the investigation process and decision-making in discrimination cases (of course, these have to be considered in conjunction with whatever discrimination policy applies to an employer’s workplace).
We held a Webinar on June 18, 2020, on the subject of investigating microaggressions which clearly resonated with people. During the course of the session, a large number of participants wrote in to tell us about their own experiences with microaggressions.
In Ontario, where I work, we have just entered stage 2 of re-opening the economy, which includes allowing people to return to workplaces that have thus far been closed. Even if a business was deemed essential, and employees continued to work remotely, now that things are “thawing” we anticipate that more employees will return to the physical workplace.
Last week, my colleague Dana Campbell discussed the difference between racism and racial discrimination, and the ways in which racial discrimination can manifest in the workplace. In the spirit of her article and her quote from Clarence B. Warren – “Everything can be improved” – we review here three human rights cases where anti-black racism occurred in the workplace, what the law told us then, and considerations for how the application of some of these legal principles may evolve going forward.
For federally-regulated employers, Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence) is supposed to come into force sometime this year, although the exact date has not been confirmed. Since the pandemic hit, the federal government has not provided any updates on this.
2020 was supposed to be the year that Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence) came into force. The Bill promises to change how employers in federally-regulated industries prevent and address incidents of workplace harassment and violence. Employers have been waiting for the Bill to take legal effect for some time, but with more pressing matters on the national agenda these days, the federal government has not confirmed when this will happen.