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Lecture 2

Week 24

8 Pages
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Department
Economics
Course Code
ECO244Y5
Professor
Reid/ Curran

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Textbook:
Week 24 - Chapter 2
Legislation Protecting Human Rights
Human rights legislation makes it illegal to discriminate against various groups.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The corner stone of Canadas legislation pertaining to issues of human rights is the Constitution Act,
which contains the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Charter applies to the actions of all levels of government (federal, provincial, and municipal)
and agencies under their jurisdiction as they go about their work of creating laws.
There are two notable exceptions to this generalization.
o The Charter allows laws to infringe on Charter rights if they can be demonstrable and
justified as reasonable limits in a free and democratic society. Issues that contradicts the
Charter will end up before the Supreme Court, whos the ultimate interpreter.
oThe second exception occurs when a legislative body invokes the notwithstanding
provision, which allows the legislation to be exempted from challenge under the Charter.
The Charter provides the following fundamental rights and freedoms to every Canadian:
oFreedom of conscience and religion
oFreedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and
other media of communication
oFreedom of peaceful assembly
oFreedom of association
In addition, the Charter provides Canadian multicultural heritage rights, First Peoples rights,
minority language education rights, equality rights, the rights to live and work anywhere in
Canada, the right to due process in criminal proceedings, and the right to democracy.
equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination, and, in particular, without
discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, or mental or
physical disability.Section 15 – Equality Rights
Human Rights Legislation
Every employer in Canada is affected by human rights legislation, which prohibits intentional and
unintentional discrimination in its policies pertaining to all aspects, terms, and conditions of employment.
Human rights legislation is extremely broad in scope, affecting almost all aspects of HRM. The ways in
which employees should be treated on the job every day and the climate in which they work are also
addressed by this legislation.
An important feature of the human rights legislation is that it supersedes the terms of any
employment contract or collective agreement. For these reasons, supervisors and managers must
be thoroughly familiar with the human rights legislation and their legal obligations and
responsibilities specified therein.
Most provincial/territorial laws are similar to the federal statute in terms of scope, interpretation,
and application.
Employment Equity Legislation
www.notesolution.com
The Charter legalizes employment equity initiatives, which go beyond human rights laws in that they are
proactive programs developed by employers to remedy past discrimination and/or prevent future
discrimination.
Human rights laws focus on prohibiting various kinds of discrimination; however, over time it
became obvious that there were certain groups for whom this complaint-based, relative approach
was insufficient. Investigation revealed that four identifiable groupswomen, Aboriginal people,
persons with disabilities, and visible minorities had been subjected to pervasive patterns of
differential treatment by employers, as evidenced by lower pay on average, occupational
segregation, higher rates of unemployment, underemployment, and concentration in low-status
jobs with little potential for career growth.
Occupational segregation is the existence of certain occupations that have traditionally been
male dominated and others have been female dominated.
Glass ceiling is an invisible barrier, caused by attitudinal or organizational bias, which limits the
advancement opportunities of qualified designated group members.
The Plight of the Four Designated Groups
1. Women
Women accounted for almost half of the employed workforce.
2/3 of all working women are in teaching, nursing and related health occupations, clerical or other
administrative positions, and sales and service occupations. (Female dominated jobs)
2. Aboriginals
Most Aboriginal employees in the workforce are concentrated in low-skill, low-paid jobs such as
trades helper
The unemployment rate for Aboriginal people is significantly higher than the rate among others
and their income is significantly lower
3. People with Disabilities
About 45% of people with disabilities are in the labour force.
4. Visible Minorities
Many immigrants are higher educated visible minorities. They are typically unable to obtain
employment that takes for advantage of their knowledge, skill, and abilities, and thus faces
unemployment.
The unemployment rate for newly arrived skilled immigrants, who are more likely than the
Canadian-born population to have an university education.
Legislation to Address Employment Barriers
After realizing that simple prohibition of discrimination would not correct these patterns, a number of
jurisdictions passed employment equity legislation aimed at identifying and eliminating systemic barriers
to employment opportunities that adversely affect these four groups.
Employment equity legislation is focused on brining the four traditionally disadvantaged groups
identified above into the mainstream of Canadas labour force.
The use of the term “employment equity” distinguishes Canadas approach from the “affirmative
action” used in the United States.
Employment equity legislation is intended to remove employment barriers and promote
equality for the members of the four designated groups.
Employment Equity Programs
www.notesolution.com
Mandatory employment equity programs are virtually non-existent in provincial jurisdictions.
An employment equity program is designed to achieve a balanced representation of designated group
members in the organization.
It is a major management exercise because existing employees must become comfortable working
with others from other diverse backgrounds, cultures, religions, and so on, and this represents a
major change in the work environment.
Theres 6 steps in the Employment Equity Program:
oStep 1: Senior-Management Commitment and Support
A written policy, endorsed by senior management and distributed to every
employee, is an essential first step.
oStep 2: Data Collection and Analysis
The development of an internal workforce profile is necessary in order to
compare internal representation with external workforce availability data, set
reasonable goals and measure progress.
To obtain data, a self-identification process is often used. Under federal
employment equity legislation, employers may collect such data, as long as
employees voluntarily agree to be identified or identify themselves as designated
group members and the data are only used for employment equity planning and
reporting purposes.
Utilization analysis is the comparison of the internal workforce representation
with external workforce availability.
This is used to determine the degree of underutilization and concentration of
designated group members in specific occupations or at a particular
organizational level.
oStep 3: Employment System Review
It is also essential that the organization undertake a comprehensive employment
systems to determine the impact of policies and procedures manuals, collective
agreements, and informal practices on designated group members so that existing
intentional or systemic barriers can be limited.
Employment systems that require review include job classifications and
descriptions, recruitment and selection processes, performance appraisal systems,
training and development programs, transfer and promotion procedures,
compensation policies and practices, and discipline and termination procedures.
oStep 4: Plan Development
Once the workforce profile and stems review have been completed, the
employment equity plan can be prepared.
Goals and timetables are the core of an employment equity program.
Goals range from short to long in duration and must be flexible.
Must set up quantitative and qualitative goals
Theres 3 types of special measures:
Positive measures are initiatives designed to accelerate the entry,
development, and promotion of designated group members, aimed at
overcoming the residual effects of past discrimination
Accommodation measures are strategies to assist designated group
members. (Providing extra mechanical help for disabled people)
Supportive measures are strategies that enable all employees to achieve
better balance between work and other responsibilities. Work/life balance
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Textbook: Week 24 - Chapter 2 Legislation Protecting Human Rights Human rights legislation makes it illegal to discriminate against various groups. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms The corner stone of Canadas legislation pertaining to issues of human rights is the Constitution Act, which contains the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter applies to the actions of all levels of government (federal, provincial, and municipal) and agencies under their jurisdiction as they go about their work of creating laws. There are two notable exceptions to this generalization. o The Charter allows laws to infringe on Charter rights if they can be demonstrable and justified as reasonable limits in a free and democratic society. Issues that contradicts the Charter will end up before the Supreme Court, whos the ultimate interpreter. o The second exception occurs when a legislative body invokes the notwithstanding provision, which allows the legislation to be exempted from challenge under the Charter. The Charter provides the following fundamental rights and freedoms to every Canadian: o Freedom of conscience and religion o Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication o Freedom of peaceful assembly o Freedom of association In addition, the Charter provides Canadian multicultural heritage rights, First Peoples rights, minority language education rights, equality rights, the rights to live and work anywhere in Canada, the right to due process in criminal proceedings, and the right to democracy. equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination, and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability. Section 15 Equality Rights Human Rights Legislation Every employer in Canada is affected by human rights legislation, which prohibits intentional and unintentional discrimination in its policies pertaining to all aspects, terms, and conditions of employment. Human rights legislation is extremely broad in scope, affecting almost all aspects of HRM. The ways in which employees should be treated on the job every day and the climate in which they work are also addressed by this legislation. An important feature of the human rights legislation is that it supersedes the terms of any employment contract or collective agreement. For these reasons, supervisors and managers must be thoroughly familiar with the human rights legislation and their legal obligations and responsibilities specified therein. Most provincialterritorial laws are similar to the federal statute in terms of scope, interpretation, and application. Employment Equity Legislation www.notesolution.com
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