Human Rights

Nova Scotia human rights board awards nearly $600,000 for racist discrimination

HALIFAX — A human rights board has ordered the City of Halifax to pay almost $600,000 in damages after a former bus mechanic suffered racist discrimination. Read more

Family status discrimination case law in flux: Howden

Family status discrimination claims could be on the rise, Toronto employment lawyer Deborah Howden tells Read more

Delays at Ontario human rights tribunal could undermine cases: lawyers

TORONTO — A shortage of adjudicators at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) is causing widespread delays that some lawyers say could undermine cases, prolong conflicts and discourage vulnerable people from seeking relief. Read more

Cannabis-related human rights claims on the horizon

Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod tells Law Times it’s likely the courts will see more human rights challenges related to claims an employer failed to accommodate marijuana addiction issues or cannabis use disorder, which is a recognized disability. Read more

Systemic discrimination could now be ‘immune from review’

A Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) ruling that supports the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision that it does not have the authority to determine if Canadian laws are discriminatory is "counter-intuitive," says Toronto litigator Stephen Moreau. Read more

Selective application of prepay policies a risky business

Restaurants with prepay policies should apply them to everyone or risk exposing themselves to a human rights complaint, Toronto human rights lawyer Andrew Carvajal tells Read more

LSO mandates training on workplace sexual harassment

As the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) highlights the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) — and there's a growing awareness of the need to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace — training for lawyers and paralegals is more essential than ever before, says Toronto human rights and employment lawyer Bay Ryley. Read more

Canadians with disabilities twice as likely to experience violence: Statistics Canada

New data from Statistics Canada says Canadians with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violent victimization as the able-bodied population. Read more

#MeToo needs to move beyond outing, demand concrete change

By Lorin MacDonald . On Valentine’s Day, renowned criminal defense lawyer Marie Henein addressed a standing room only crowd (with a full overflow room as well) at University of Toronto’s Hart House. Henein has gained a well-earned reputation as a fierce defender of many high profile clients, the most famous arguably being Jian Ghomeshi. His 2016 acquittal on four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking related to his actions with three separate women sparked protests and vigorous debate about who knew what when, and how his employer, Canada’s national broadcaster, could have stopped this. The rise of the viral #MeToo movement on social media to demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment across workplaces has carried this debate on a virtual tidal wave around the world. Read more

Accessibility and inclusion drive MacDonald

When Toronto human rights lawyer Lorin MacDonald decided to limit her practice to helping people with disabilities who have experienced discrimination, she worried that she was boxing herself into a niche with too little work. Read more

Report warned rights of N.S. people with disabilities 'verging' on violation

HALIFAX — An external report warned more than a decade ago that a Nova Scotia hospital was ``verging'' on violating the basic rights of people with disabilities by forcing them to live in a locked-door psychiatric unit rather than in the community, a human rights inquiry heard Wednesday. Read more

The paradox of sexual misconduct and people with disabilities

By Lorin MacDonald . As a human rights lawyer and a woman living with a disability, I am troubled by some reactions to the resignation of the federal Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, on Thursday, Jan. 25th amidst allegations of sexual misconduct (since downgraded to "inappropriate comments"). Read more

PTSD bill a positive step: Achkar

A private member's bill that would establish a federal framework to address post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a positive step in recognizing mental health issues faced by first responders, Toronto employment and human rights lawyer Christopher Achkar tells The Lawyer's Daily . Read more

Human rights: protecting the individual or the community?

The closure of a respected research and treatment program at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) raises serious questions, says Toronto human rights and employment lawyer Kevin Marshall. Read more

Employers should take steps to accommodate SAD

Although winter will soon be over, some individuals may continue to suffer from the mood disorder formerly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — and employers who dismiss a request to accommodate it do so at their peril, Toronto employment, human rights and civil litigation lawyer Sean O’Donnell writes in The Lawyers Weekly . Read more