Human Rights & DiscriminationEric Chow2022-06-10T20:10:49+00:00
Human Rights law is an area of law that deals with the protection of people from discrimination on the basis of a person’s age, race, sexual orientation, or on the basis a mental or physical disability.
Human Rights & Discrimination in the Workplace
Human rights law deals with the protection from discrimination based on a person’s age, race, sexual orientation, mental/physical disability and other “grounds”.
These laws provide rights and responsibilities to both employers and employees in the workplace.
Many wrongful dismissal or termination cases involve a breach not only of the employment contract but also of human rights legislation that protects you from discrimination in the workplace.
Our human rights lawyers can help assert or defend your rights at work.
Human rights laws in Canada affect both employers and employees. If you feel that you have been discriminated against according to the human rights laws, it will help to discuss your legal options with a human rights lawyer.
We will help you determine which laws apply to you, whether your rights have been violated and what the next steps should be.
Example: You struggle with mental health problems or addictions that have caused you to miss work from time to time.
After your employer becomes aware of your illness, your employment is terminated, even though you were an otherwise good employee. Although your employer cites a lack of sufficient work as the reason for your termination, you suspect that this is not the case.
Your employer is likely in breach of human rights legislation and you may be entitled to a variety of remedies.
Human rights laws apply to part-time, temporary, or casual workers, as well as agency workers, contract workers, independent contractors, probationary employees, and domestic workers.
After an initial discussion to understand your precise circumstances, we will provide a clear idea of the legal options available to you.
Typically, employees whose human rights have been breached can consider the following:
Filing a human rights complaint or court action
Mediation with your employer
Negotiating a settlement with your employer
Representation at a human rights tribunal
Alberta’s Human Rights Act
Under the Alberta Human Rights Act (the Act), workers in the province have the right to equal treatment without discrimination in their employment. Importantly, this right cannot be “signed away” under any employment contract.
An employer’s liability for discrimination may extend beyond the workplace and normal work hours, depending on circumstances.
Discriminatory behaviour is prohibited away from the physical workplace as well as in it. This includes business trips and company parties/functions.
Are you protected after making a human rights complaint against an employer?
Employees who are considering making a complaint of harassment, bullying or discrimination should keep detailed records of the discriminatory behaviour, including the names of any witnesses.
Many employees are discouraged from filing a complaint because they fear retaliation from an employer or another employee.
However, the Alberta Human Rights Act protects those who make a complaint against their employer from being retaliated against. In fact, the Act prohibits a person from retaliating against any other person who has:
Made a complaint
Provided evidence about a complaint, or
Assisted another person in making a complaint
If you believe that someone has taken retaliatory action against you for any of these reasons, you may make a further complaint.
Making e a frivolous complaint with malicious intent would preclude you from such protections under the Act. This is why it is important to first establish that you have good grounds for a complaint with one of our human rights lawyers.
Employers with reason to believe that a frivolous or malicious complaint has been made against them may make a complaint under the prohibitions section of the Act.
At Taylor Janis LLP, we have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to handle all of your employment & labour law needs.
To arrange a one-on-one consultation and document review with one of our employment lawyers, please contact us today at (780) 428-7770 in Edmonton or (403) 474-0411 in Calgary.