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Toronto Employment Lawyers Advising Employers on Human Rights Claims

Employers have a positive legal obligation to maintain a harassment and discrimination-free workplace, and to provide equal opportunity to all employees, prospective employees, volunteers, summer students, and others. Employers must also promptly respond to any allegations of human rights violations that may result despite having proactive measure in place to prevent such misconduct.

Employees, job applicants, or other relevant parties who believe they have been discriminated against in the workplace, or otherwise mistreated based on protected personal grounds, have various legal options available to them that may result in significant legal and financial liability for an employer.

If you are an employer and are the subject of a human rights complaint or lawsuit alleging human rights violations, contact the experienced Toronto employment lawyers at Sultan Lawyers. We will help explain your options, outline all possible legal and financial risks, help you craft a response to the complaint or lawsuit, and zealously represent you throughout any resulting litigation. We are determined to be the best at what we do, and to work hard to ensure our clients benefit from our perseverance. We always think outside the box and find innovative solutions to the most challenging issues in employment.

Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination takes place where someone is treated differently than others due to a protected personal characteristic. Discrimination can be blatant, such as not hiring someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, or firing someone because of their religion or race, or it can be less obvious, such as putting up a job advertisement with job qualifications that show preferences for certain candidates by noting the company is seeking a person who is “young and dynamic”.

An employer can be held liable for their own actions as well as situations:

  • Where one employee discriminates against another (even where the employer was not aware of or did not condone that employee’s actions);
  • For the actions of employees outside of the workplace, or outside of regular working hours (including actions and comments online);
  • For the actions of third parties coming into the workplace including clients, customers, and others.

Protected Grounds 

The Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act both provide similar protections to employees and obligations that employers must comply with, depending on whether the workplace is provincially or federally regulated.

Employees and prospective employees cannot be discriminated against based on:

  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Colour
  • Ethnic origin
  • Citizenship
  • Creed
  • Sex (including pregnancy)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Age
  • Record of offences
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Disability

If a court or a human rights tribunal finds that an employee has been discriminated against in the workplace, the employee may be entitled to compensation for both economic losses suffered as a result (such as lost wages) as well as any mental suffering or injury to their dignity. Such damages can be significant and can result in a large financial liability for employers.

Other remedies that can be ordered include reinstatement (with or without back pay), a removal of a harasser from the workplace, training for other employees and the employer, and similar.

Sultan Lawyers: Advising Employers on Complying with Human Rights Legislation 

The employment lawyers at Sultan Lawyers in Toronto can provide proactive guidance to employers on how to comply with relevant human rights laws. We regularly represent employers in defence of human rights applications. Whether the case is at the federal or provincial level, we are ready to resolutely defend your rights, your reputation, and the integrity of your organization. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.


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