Jagjeet Kaur Dhawan
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
Chapter 17: Employment Discrimination and Employment Equity
- Challenges in the labour pool
- Issues in the workplace discrimination
- Employment equity
- Pay equity
Challenges in the Labour Pool:
Significant portion of our labour pool comes from members of designated groups whose
participation in the workplace contributes to the success to the success of an organization.
- With regard to past discrimination, there are four groups in Canada that traditionally
have not gotten equitable treatment in employment: women, Aboriginal peoples, visible
minorities, and people with disabilities.
Minorities: Native people, women and people with disabilities
Four designated Groups:
- Women have been segregated in occupations that are accorded lower status and lower
- Women have been underrepresented in such areas as semi-professional occupations,
management and board positions, supervisors in crafts and trades, and sales and
- Failure of women to achieve higher-level corporate positions has been attributed to a
variety of sources, including lack of mentoring opportunities, lack of female role models,
stereotyping, and preconceptions of women’s roles and abilities, exclusion from informal
networks of communication, and failure of senior leaders to assume accountability for
b. Aboriginal or First Nations People
- Aboriginals make up about 3.3 % of the population
- They represent one of the fastest growing populations in Canada but remain vastly
underrepresented in the work force, with their unemployment rate hovering at the 20
- Educational challenge has proven to be a significant barrier with Aboriginal populations
experiencing a high-school drop-out rate of 70%
- Aboriginals and first nations have lack of education and job experience, and cultural
barriers have made the plight of this group often appear bleak.
- Employment opportunities on or near the Aboriginal reserves are limited.
-Aboriginals Canadians have been prevented from playing a part in the modern
corporate world for so long that many now feel that exclusion is normal.
c. Individual with disabilities
- Individuals with disabilities have faced a variety of employment obstacles.
- Typically, this group has experienced a higher unemployment rate compared to the
- Among the challenges faced are attitudinal barriers in the workplace, physical demands
unrelated to the job requirements, and inadequate access to the technical and human
d. Visible Minorities
- Visible minorities makes up a growing segment of the population
- As the baby boom generation, immigrant workers will play a greater role in the labour
- Workplace obstacles faced by visible minorities include culturally biased aptitude tests,
lack of recognition of foreign credentials, and excessively high language requirements.
Among the findings were the following:
•Aboriginals peoples, visible minorities, and immigrants to Canada encounter more
challenges in finding employment in all regions in Canada
•Foreign-born visible minorities experience the greatest difficulty finding desirable work,
and only half of those with a university education have high-skill jobs.
- The department of justice defines discrimination as occurring “when a law, program or
policy – expressly or by effect- creates a distinction between groups of individuals which
advantages one group based on shared personal characteristics of members of that
group in a manner with human dignity.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Constitution Act of 1982):
- Central principle behind human rights legislation in Canada is to balance individual and
Constitution Act of 1982, which contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is the
central legislation governing human rights in Canada. It protects the fundamental rights of all
•Fundamental freedoms that comprise the standard rights of freedom of speech, press,
assembly, association, and religion
Charter only applies to activities and institutions controlled by the government and,
consequently, it does not protect individual rights against private business or individuals.
Canadian Human Rights Act:
- In 1977, Parliament passed the Canadian Human Rights Act.
- This act is aimed at ensuring equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination in
the federal jurisdiction.
One is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of:
•Race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy), martial
and family status, physical or mental disability.
The act protects the rights of Canadian but applies to a specific class of organizations: all
federal government departments and agencies; crown corporations, and other business and
industries under federal jurisdiction.
Canadian Human Rights Commission:
- At the federal level, Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) is granted authority
under the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit employment discrimination in federally
regulated businesses, including, such areas as race, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic
origin, Phsycial handicap, and Martial status.
CHRC describes its mandate as follows:
- To provide effective and timely means for resolving individual complaints
- To promote knowledge of human rights in Canada and to encourage people to follow
principles of equality.