Chapter 4: Meeting Legal Requirements
To avoid flooding the courts with complaints and the prosecution of relatively minor infractions,
federal and provincial governments often create special regulatory bodies, such as commissions
and boards, to enforce compliance with the law and to aid in its interpretation.
Regulation- Legally enforceable rules developed by governmental agencies to ensure
compliance with laws that the agency administers
Involvement creates three important responsibilities
1. Human resource experts must be up to date with the laws
2. They must develop and administer programs that ensure company compliance
3. They must pursue their traditional roles of obtaining, maintain, and retaining optimal
The Charter of Rights and Freedom
Came into effect 1982
Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees equality before the law for every Canadian
Content and Applicability of the Charter
Section 1: "subject only to such reasonable limits pre- scribed by law as can be demonstrably
justified in a free and democratic society."
Section 15: Every individual is equal before the law and under the law and has the right to the
equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without
discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or
Areas of Application
The Right to Bargain Collectively and to Strike (not protected under the Charter)
The Right to Picket (not protected under the Charter)
The Right to Work
o At the provincial level, mandatory retirement is discriminatory under the human rights
Human Rights Legislation
Human Rights Act seeks to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to people's
race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family
status, disability, or a conviction for an offence for which a conviction has been granted
Human Rights Legislation requires every employer to ensure that equal opportunities are, in
fact, reality and that there is no discrimination either intentional or unintentional.
Usually, employment-related laws and regulations are limited in scope; their impact on the
human resource management process is limited to a single human resource activity
Human rights legislation does permit employers to reward outstanding performers and penalize
Only requirement is that the basis for rewards and punishments be work-related, not based on a
person's race, sex, age, or other prohibited criteria
The Canadian Human Rights Act
Passed by Parliament on July 14, 1977, and took effect in March 1978
Discrimination- “A showing of partiality or prejudice in treatment; specific action or policies
directed against the welfare of minority groups."
Direct vs. Indirect (Systemic) Discrimination
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ): A justified business reason for discriminating
against a member of a protected class.
Systemic discrimination: takes place if there is no intention to discriminate, but the system,
arrangements, or policies allow it to happen.
Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) Supervises the implementation and adjudication of
the Canadian Human Rights Act
o Age (making someone retire at a certain age; law makes an exception when it comes to
o Sex (Not only is it illegal to recruit, hire, and promote employees because of their sex, it
is unlawful to have separate policies for men and women.)
o Marital status (such as those resulting from common-law marriages, or single-parent
families, are now far more numerous than in the past)
o Pardoned Convicts (people that have been arrested but not convicted)
verbal abuse or threats;
unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendo, or taunting about a person's body, attire,
age, marital status, ethnic or national origin, religion, and so on;
displaying of pornographic, racist, or other offensive or derogatory pictures;
practical jokes that cause awkwardness or embarrassment;
unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit, or intimidation;
Leering or other gestures;
condescension or paternalism that undermines self-respect;
Unnecessary physical contact such as touching, patting, pinching, or punching;
and or physical assault.
o Sexual harassment- Unsolicited or unwelcome sex or gender-based conduct that has
adverse employment consequences for the complainant.