Discrimination in the workplace comes in all shapes and sizes. People may be discriminated against on the basis of their race, gender, sexual preference, age, and many other factors. The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s statistics are slightly old, but they show how widespread workplace discrimination is, unfortunately.
54.4% of complaints about discrimination relate to discrimination based on disability. Over 47% of LGBTQ2+ workers have experienced it for their gender identity and sexual orientation.
In this blog, our labour lawyers explore the different forms of workplace discrimination and how Ontario’s laws protect your rights as a worker.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Workplace discrimination is a situation where an individual has been denied equal opportunities. There’s no exhaustive list of what discrimination looks like, but some examples are:
- Denying someone a promotion on the basis of their race.
- Making an employee work more than others because of their gender.
- Paying employees of a similar skill and experience differently.
- Giving someone opportunities on the basis of their age.
Ontario has strict laws promoting equality in the workplace. If you feel you are being discriminated against, speak to employment lawyers in St. Catharines. Our lawyers handle matters sensitively, protecting your rights without jeopardizing your future.
How Ontario’s Laws Protect You From Workplace Discrimination (and Why You Need Labour Lawyers)
1. Racial Discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of race means treating individuals differently on the basis of their race, ethnicity, or nationality. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits racial discrimination. It requires employers to treat all employees fairly and equally.
Federally regulated organizations and businesses offer further protections under laws such as the Employment Equity Act.
2. Gender Discrimination
1 in 10 women in Ontario experience gender discrimination at work; men do too, but only about 1 in 20. It means a person is treated differently based on their sex, gender, pregnancy, and gender identity. If you are facing discrimination based on your gender, you should approach an employment lawyer in St. Catharines immediately.
3. Age Discrimination
Age discrimination tends to impact younger and older workers. It means the employer provides opportunities on the basis of age rather than ability or qualifications. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits age-based discrimination, and you should speak to an employment attorney if you feel you are being discriminated against.
4. Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
Denying people opportunities or treating them less favourably on the basis of physical or mental disability is called disability discrimination. Even a failure to reasonably accommodate a person with a disability can constitute discrimination.
5. Religious Discrimination
53.3% of people in Ontario follow the Christian faith. That means nearly half of the province’s population has different religious affiliations or none at all. Religious discrimination occurs when workers are treated differently based on their religious beliefs or practices. Ontario prohibits religious discrimination and requires employers to accommodate religious beliefs unless they cause undue hardship.
Don’t Take Discrimination Silently, Speak to Labour Lawyers
Unchecked discrimination doesn’t just impact you; it impacts everyone in the province. You must speak to lawyers immediately if you feel discriminated against. Book a free consultation to discuss your workplace issues with an experienced employment attorney.