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Chapter Two: The Changing Legal Emphasis
Provincial/Territorial laws govern about 90% of Canadian workers, the other 10% of the
workforce is governed by federal laws. Thus there are 14 jurisdictions, 10 provinces, 3
territories and Canada as a whole.
Regulations – legally binding rules created to enforce compliance with the law and aid in its
Charter of Rights and Freedom – federal law enacted in 1982 that guarantees fundamental
freedoms to all Canadians. The charter allows (1) freedom of
conscience and religion (2) freedom of thought, belief, opinion
and expression (3) freedom of peaceful assembly (4) freedom
Discrimination – when he or she is perceived to be acting in an unfair or prejudiced manner.
The following are prohibited grounds of discrimination of employment in Ontario. They
include: race, colour, religion, sex, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, national or
ethnic origin, family status, ancestry, association and language.
Intentional Discrimination – prohibited. Cannot deliberately refuse to hire, train or promote an
individual on any of the prohibited grounds. An employer cannot
intentionally discriminate in the form of differential or unequal
treatment. An employer cannot indirectly discriminate through
another party such as asking someone to discriminate on his/her
Unintentional Discrimination – aka constructive or systemic discrimination. Policies and
practices that appear neutral on the surface, have an adverse
impact on specific groups of people for reasons that are not job
related (eg. minimum height requirement)
Reasonable accommodation – adjustment of employment policies and practices that an
employer may be expected to make so that no individual is
denied benefits, disadvantaged in employment or prevented
from carrying out the essential components of a job
Undue hardship – point to which employers are expected to accommodate under human rights