Human rights

Discrimination at work

Workers have a right to be treated by their employer in a way that recognizes their dignity and worth as a person. Employers must provide equal rights and opportunity for all workers without discrimination. Job decisions must be based on the worker's ability to do the job and not on other factors that are unrelated to the job, like race or religion.

Federal and provincial Human Rights Codes prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences (for example, a criminal offence for which you have been pardoned), marital status, same-sex partnership status, family status and handicap.

In some cases, an employer is also required to accommodate an employee's special needs at the jobsite. For example, if you have a handicap or illness, the employer may have to make special workplace arrangements so that you can continue working.

A violation of your human rights, such as discrimination at work, can form part of the basis for a claim in court or a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal or Canadian Human Rights Commission.There are time restrictions on filing a complaint or beginning a trial, so workers whose human rights have been violated should seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Contact Us

If you think your rights have been violated, contact [email protected] Click here to fill out an online application for legal assistance. A lawyer from [email protected] will review your complaint, provide you with free summary legal advice and assess whether you qualify for legal assistance. Our legal assistance is also free, but available only to qualifying low-income or disadvantaged workers.