Harassment & Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination is a serious problem in today's workplace. As an employee, you do not have to tolerate harassment or discrimination at your place of work. Our lawyers are experienced in handling harassment and discrimination matters in the workplace. Let us put this experience to work for you.

What is harassment?

Harassment is defined as:

Improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another individual in the workplace, including at any event or any location related to work, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm.


Harassment comprises objectionable act(s), comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of Human Rights legislation (i.e. based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and pardoned conviction).

More specifically, harassment is normally a series of incidents but can be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual.

Example 1: Your manager makes a series of inappropriate references to your physical appearance that can be construed as sexual in nature.

Example 2: A fellow colleague or colleagues routinely make jokes about your sex, race, or nationality, and, although your manager is aware of these comments, he or she has not taken any steps to stop the behaviour.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, age or disability. These reasons are known as grounds of discrimination. Employers cannot discriminate against individuals for these reasons.

There several grounds of discrimination found in Human Rights legislation, including:

  • race 
  • national or ethnic origin 
  • colour 
  • religion 
  • age 
  • sex 
  • sexual orientation 
  • marital status 
  • family status 
  • disability 
  • a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended.

In the workplace, discrimination may take many forms, but among the most common are:

  • Refusing to employ or continue to employ someone, or treating them unfairly in the workplace 
  • Following policies or practices that deprive people of employment opportunities
  • Paying men and women differently when they are doing work of the same value 
  • Retaliating against a person who has filed a complaint with the Commission or against someone who has filed a complaint for them
  • Harassing someone
*Your employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate any physical or mental disability you suffer from.


If you think you are being harassed or discriminated against in your workplace, we are here to help. Please call us or fill out our brief inquiry form to schedule a consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.



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