Upcoming Webinar: November 18, 2021 @ 12:30 P.M. (ET)  |  Building Internal Independent Investigation Systems  |  Register Today!

Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

The wall: Tearing down poisoned work environments

“CSI-style wall…Creepy…I was horrified…Very evil…Disturbing behaviour.” These are phrases that might be used to describe an episode of Homeland or a big-budget suspense movie. In fact, these were statements uttered by individuals who worked with the Mayor of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Justin Altmann, regarding his behaviour in office. Mr. Altmann was the subject of a recent highly-publicized

Read More

Pink jobs vs. blue jobs: Sexism in the skilled trades

In August 2017, the federal government launched a $73 million work-placement program for students through paid co-op opportunities in industries such as science, engineering and skilled trades. This is one of many examples of recent initiatives attempting to attract more people into the skilled trades. Both federal and provincial governments have acknowledged a shortage of

Read More

Poisoned work environment: An employer’s responsibility

I am often asked what “poisoned work environment” means. My thought is that while many people have heard the term and may even use it occasionally, they are not really sure what it is. A recent HRTO decision provides some clear guidance as to what a poisoned work environment is, how it often arises, and

Read More

#4 Discriminatory grounds such as family status, age, marital status, etc. that deal with the duty to accommodate

This posting builds upon an earlier one entitled “#2 Mental health or physical disabilities that deal with the duty to accommodate”. As indicated in that post, the duty to accommodate is always a tricky exercise and one that should be treated with the utmost circumspection. The Accommodation Process The Ontario Human Rights Code lists a

Read More

Was race a factor? Drawing inferences in a discrimination analysis

We often hear from clients and participants in our training courses that they have difficulty determining whether discrimination has occurred at the conclusion of their investigations. A recent decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario succinctly articulates the test for discrimination and demonstrates its application.  In Pieters v. Toronto Police Services Board (2014 HRTO

Read More

Record of Offences? Ha! What Record of Offences?

On August 7, 2014 the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario issued its decision in the case of Hulbert v. Cott Beverages. This was an application by Mr. Hulbert where he alleged that Cott Beverages discriminated against him contrary to the Human Rights Code (“the Code”).  Specifically he alleged that his employer discriminated against him on

Read More

“Bring your friends, bring your acquaintances, just don’t bring your wife!” Employer pays damages for hosting a men only event

Imagine that you have worked for a company for several years as a sales person. Your compensation is directly related to how many deals you close. Networking is a key part of meeting sales targets. You get excited when you learn that the company is hosting a customer appreciation day. Many of your clients are

Read More

Who guards the guardians? Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission makes costly procedural mistakes

“In my view, it would be contrary to the public interest for the Commission to avoid liability for costs in situations where it has mishandled a complaint to the degree seen in this case.” In Tessier v. Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission) et al 2014 NSSC 65 (CanLII), the Nova Scotia Supreme Court (NSSC) ruled

Read More