Workplace Discrimination and Harassment



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Every employee has a right to a workplace free of discrimination, as per the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act,and employers are required to provide that safe work environment


​Ontario Human Rights Code

Despite this fact, many employees have experienced discrimination or harassment either in the job application process or in the workplace. This can have a devastating impact on an employee’s sense of self-worth, dignity and enjoyment in their work. As an employee, you have rights if you have been discriminated against or harassed on a ground that is protected by legislation. These grounds are; age, race, citizenship, ethnic origin, place of origin, creed, disability, family status, marital status, gender identity or gender expression, record of offences, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding) and sexual orientation. If you have been discriminated against or harassed because of any of the above grounds, it is possible to file an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or to include the claims as part of a civil lawsuit such as wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal. To prove discrimination at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, you must demonstrate that there is a connection between the negative treatment you experienced and one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination. The negative treatmentonly needs to be partially caused by the prohibited ground in order to count as discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

It is possible that the negative treatment you experience is a result of the employer treating everyone the exact same, such as when you have a disability that requires accommodation. With respect to harassment based on a protected personal characteristic, harassment means “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” With both harassment and discrimination, it is always important to keep detailed records of any offending behaviour. Keep records of the parties involved, any witnesses, what was said or done, dates, times, locations and any other relevant information. This will help strengthen your position if the case progresses to the Tribunal or to court. Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice. It is general information about the law. If you require legal advice with an employment issue, please contact the experts at Ball Professional Corporation.


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“ Stacey Ball is the ultimate in employment lawyers. He got me an excellent settlement and I referred him to fellow long term employees whom I know were very happy in their outcome. I cannot recommend him enough; his name alone will give you clout. This is the guy who wrote the book. He is the best. ”
- John Cunningham, Toronto, ON

“ I was strongly advised by another client to see Stacey Ball. At the initial consultation I found Stacey to be very candid, honest and confident. He was very knowledgeable and upfront about reasonable expectations. He acted quickly on my behalf, which resulted in a fair settlement. I would recommend Stacey to anyone who wishes to use a pro, who knows the law, and is the best employment lawyer in the business. ”
- Todd Kemp, Oshawa, ON

“ I would highly recommend Stacey Ball as an employment lawyer. He was honest, hard working on my behalf and obtained an excellent settlement. I found him to be the top and best employment lawyer I could have obtained. ”
- Lou T. Richmond Hill, ON

“ Stacey Ball is the best employment lawyer you can have on your side in Toronto. There is no employment lawyer representing employees with a stronger track record than him. In my experience, he gets the results that meet your needs, even against the most stubborn employers. Had I not gone with Stacey, I would have gotten nothing because that was what my employer insisted on until he intervened on my behalf. He is the best and top employment lawyer. ”
- James Yu, Toronto, ON

“ I first used Stacey over a decade ago to review personal and business employment contracts. Stacey is arguably the best employment law lawyer in both Canada and south of the border. His intimate knowledge of the law is second to none. He is readily available for any situation which requires a quick, frank and authentic response. I would highly recommend him for both individuals and organizations alike.​ ”
- Antoinette St. Angelo, V.P. & Director of Production Services, Toronto, ON