Chapter 4: Human Resources
Meeting Legal Requirements
• Government – through the enforcement of laws – has a direct and immediate impact on the
human resource function
• Regulations: legally enforceable rules developed by governmental agencies to ensure
compliance with laws that the agency administers
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
• Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: federal law enacted in 1982,
guaranteeing individuals equal rights before the law
Content and Applicability of the Charter
• The charter of rights and freedoms applies only to individuals dealing with federal and
provincial governments agencies under their jurisdiction, but its impact is far reaching,
since potentially every law can be challenged.
Areas of Application
• The right to bargain collectively and to strike
• The right to picket
• The right to work
Human Rights Legislation
• The human rights legislation requires every employer to ensure that equal opportunities
are, I fact, reality and that there is no discrimination either intentional or unintentional.
• Human rights legislation affects nearly every human resource function: human resource
planning, requiring, selections, training, compensation, and labour relations.
• Human rights legislation is a family of federal and provincial acts that have as common
objectives the provision of equal employment opportunity for members of protected groups
• Human resource management does permit employers to reward outstanding performance
and penalize insufficient productivity.
• Provincial human rights laws: all provinces and two territories have their own
human rights laws and human rights commissions, with discrimination criteria, regulations,
The Canadian Human Rights Act
• Canadian Human Rights Act: a federal law prohibiting discrimination.
Direct Versus Indirect (systematic) discrimination
• Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ): a justified business reason
for discriminating against a member of a protected class • Systematic Discrimination: any company policy, practice, or action, that is not
openly or intentionally discriminatory, but has an indirect discriminatory impact or
• Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC): supervises the
implementation and adjudication of the Canadian Humans right act.
• It is also illegal for HR decisions to be influenced by the national or ethnical origins of
applicants or of their forebears.
• A persons religious beliefs and practices should not affect employment decisions.
• An employer must accommodate employee’s religious practices, unless those
practices present undue hardships to their employee.
• Duty to accommodate: requirement that an employer must accommodate the
employee to the point on undue hardship.
• The use of age as an employment criterion has also received considerable attention in
the past. Many employers considered that the laying down of minimum and maximum
ages for certain jobs is justified, although evidence is rarely available that age is an
accurate indication of ones ability to perform an given type of work.
• Not only is it illegal to recruit, hire and promote employees before of their sex, it is
unlawful to have separate policies for men and women.
• The government amended the Human rights act to add sexual orientation as a
prohibited grounds for discrimination
• The human rights act spells out quite clearly that any discrimination based on marital
status is illegal.
• No person should be denied employment solely for the reason of his or her being
• Reasonable Accommodation: voluntary adjustments to work or workplace
that allow employees with special needs to perform their job effectively.
• Some complainants have been refused jobs when their disability might be a problem in
a speculative situation.
• The Canadian human rights act prohibits discrimination against a convicted person is a
pardon has been issued for the offence
• For the HR manager, this does not me