Wondering what discrimination is and whether you human rights have been violated?
Discrimination occurs when there is the differential treatment. Keep in mind that not all differential treatment is discriminatory. Discrimination occurs when differential treatment results in negative consequences which arise because of a person’s inclusion in a particular category such as:
- Race, ancestry, place of origin, citizenship, colour or ethnic origin;
- Sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;
- Record of offences;
- Marital status or family status or
The Ontario Human Rights Code (link) and the Canadian Human Rights Act (link), protect individuals from discrimination and harassment in the provision of goods and services, housing, and in the workplace.
Bakerlaw has extensive experience representing individuals with human rights complaints at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and in workplace investigations. We’ve also argued human rights complaints before other administrative tribunals, such as the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Do you have a decision from one of these Tribunal that was not in your favour? Bakerlaw can assist you with a request for reconsideration or a request that a court review the decision.
As a leader in Canadian disability law, we’ve assisted clients in securing accommodations at school, including post-secondary. Whether you need an accommodation during the admission process, learning or exam accommodations we can help. Visit our Education Law page (link) to learn more about how we can help you!
Bakerlaw has also assisted clients with securing disability accommodation at their workplace. Visit our Employment Law page (link) to learn more about how we can help you!
Legal Aid Ontario (link) provides assistance to low-income individuals by allocating funds to “test cases”. Test cases are ones which seek to push or expand the law by bringing forward a novel issue. Bakerlaw has successfully secured funding for a variety of test cases through legal aid. We can put the application together for you!
To find out more about whether bakerlaw can assist you with your human rights issue, contact us (link).
Reuvekamp v Central Community Care Access Centre
Reuvekamp v. Central Community Care Access Centre, 2020 HRTO 365: in this case we assisted our clients in proving the Respondent contravened the settlement agreement between the two parties which pertained to disability-related services.
NM v Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
NM v. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, 2019 HRTO 1317: the Tribunal granted our client’s request for an interim remedy for accommodation in school. The school board removed our client’s previous accommodation without warning or an assessment of his needs. The Tribunal ordered the accommodation had to be restored while the case makes its way through the Tribunal process.
AB v Joe Singer Shoes Limited
A.B. v. Joe Singer Shoes Limited, 2018 HRTO 107 and Joe Singer Shoes Limited v. A.B., 2019 ONSC 5628 (Div Ct): In this case we secured a landmark monetary award for our client who endured a poisoned work environment, sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace and in housing. The decision was challenged by the Respondent but upheld in its entirety at Divisional Court.
VIA Rail Presented Undue Obstacle by not Accommodating Husband and Wife in Scooters on same Train
Decision No 29-AT-R-2017 In this case, our clients who are husband and wife, and who regularly travelled together on VIA Rail sought to be accommodated by both being able to ride on the same train. Both used mobility scooters and wanted to travel on VIA trains without having one scooter stowed as luggage. The Canadian Transportation Agency agreed that the previous set-up offered by VIA was ineffective and presented our clients with an undue obstacle to their travel. VIA was required to take steps to accommodate our clients.
Canadian National Railway v Seeley
Canadian National Railway v. Seeley, 2013 FC 117: In this case we successfully argued on behalf of our client that she had experienced family status discrimination because her employer failed to accommodate her childcare responsibilities. This decision was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal (2014 FCA 111).
R.B. v Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
R.B. v. Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, 2013 HRTO 1436: the school board prevented our client from attending school. The Tribunal ordered the student had to be returned to school. We also managed to secure an interim remedy for the client so that he could attend school while the matter was being adjudicated at the HRTO (R.B. v Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, 2013 HRTO 130).
Longueépée v University of Waterloo
Longueépée v. University of Waterloo, 2019 ONSC 5465: This case challenged an admissions decision at the post-secondary institution. At the HRTO, in Longueépée v University of Waterloo, 2016 HRTO 686, the Tribunal ruled against our client but the Divisional Court agreed that the admissions procedure failed to accommodate our client’s disability in its consideration for grades earned while unaccommodated at a different school.
LB v Toronto District School Board
L.B. v. Toronto District School Board, 2015 HRTO 1622: The school board failed to accommodate our client’s school refusal and anxiety; the Tribunal ruled that this was discriminatory. As a result of the school’s failure to accommodate, our client attended a private school. At Divisional Court, the client received compensation for some of his private school tuition (L.B. v Toronto District School Board et al., 2017 ONSC 2301)
Ontario Human Rights Commission v Simpson-Sears
Ontario Human Rights Commission v. Simpsons-Sears,  2 SCR 536; The Supreme Court of Canada found that it is not necessary to prove that discrimination is intentional to find that there has been a violation of human rights. A neutral rule can have discriminatory effects. Where a rule has a discriminatory effect, a duty to accommodate will be triggered
Bhinder v CN
Bhinder v. CN,  2 SCR 561; Mr. Binder, a member of the Sikh religion who wears a turban was fired because he refused to wear a hard hat. The Supreme Court of Canada found that there was no duty to accommodate where there is a bona fide occupational requirement. While the hart hat requirement had a discriminatory effect on Sikhs; this requirement was a bona fide occupational requirement and was therefore not discriminatory.
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