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Human Rights… What do they mean to you? CHILD LABOUR YouTube - World History Child Labor VideoYouTube - World History Child Labor Video
Human Rights At the federal level we are protected from abuses from the government or agencies of the government by the Charter Human Rights Codes protect us from discrimination by individuals or private organizations Human Rights Codes can differ from province to province Canada has one of the strongest Human Rights Records in the world The struggle for equality continues today…
Who Struggles? Disabled people are fighting for accommodation in the workplace The gay community struggled for rights to be married and to adopt children
Human Rights: right to receive equal treatment free from discrimination and harassment everyone to have equal access to places, services, and opportunities.
Stereotyping: false or generalized portrayal of a group of people. It is taking a characteristic of one member of a group and applying it to all group members. Example: All teenage males are reckless drivers.
Prejudice: judging an individual according to the group to which he/she belongs without taking into account individual qualities or abilities. Example: Assuming that an individual is a reckless driver simply because the driver is a teenage male. This is a prejudice.
Prejudice and stereotyping are not illegal, but they are part of a belief system that leads to discrimination which is prohibited by Human Rights Codes.
Discrimination: Occurs when people ACT on a prejudice or stereotype and treat others unfairly. Example: Angela owns a courier company and refused to hire John simply because she believed that all teenage males are reckless drivers- this behaviour would constitute discrimination.
Canadian Human Rights Act Passed in 1977 Applies to all federal departments (post offices, banks, airlines)
Canadian Human Rights Act does not allow discrimination on the following grounds: –Race –Colour –National or Ethnic Origin –Religion –Age –Sex or gender (including pregnancy and childbearing) –Marital status, Family status –Physical or Mental disability (including dependence on drug or alcohol) –Pardoned Criminal Conviction –Sexual orientation
Provincial Human Rights Codes Same as the Canadian Human Rights Applies to everyone in NS- not just government In addition, the NS Human Rights Code also does not allow for discrimination on the basis of: –Source of income –Association with groups or individuals –Political beliefs, affiliation or activity Amended periodically It also prohibits sexual harassment in all areas of public life. The Human Rights Code is subject to Charter- cannot violate the Charter http://www.gov.ns.ca/humanrights/
Lab Time You are now to go into the computer lab and search for an example of a Human Rights violation in Nova Scotia. Write a short summary of the case you found and return to the class to share your findings. You have 20 minutes.
Should girls be permitted to play on boys’ hockey teams?
In 1986, the Ontario Court of Appeal struck down s. 19 (2) of the Ontario Human Rights Code, which permitted athletic organizations (such as the Ontario Hockey Association) to deny membership based on gender.
Justine Blainey had been denied the right to play on a boys’ hockey team, but the court found that this part of the Ontario Human Rights policy violated her equality rights under section 15 (1) of the Charter. This is her!
Is Forced Retirement Discriminatory? Read article on page 114 in your text Create a “T” Chart: What are the Pros and Cons of Mandatory retirement? Do you think people should have to retire at a certain age? Why?/Why not? What age would you suggest for mandatory retirement if it were to exist?
More important legal terms… Complainant: the person making the allegation of discrimination Respondent: the person or organization that the complainant alleges committed discrimination. “Prima facie” case: a case whose first impression is legally convincing Gravamen: the most serious part of an accusation.
Mediation: a means of settling a dispute prior to a formal investigation. It promotes compromise or settlement of the dispute. Conciliation: bringing conflicting parties to a resolution of their differences.
Fast Fact Mediation occurs in about 70% of the complaints filed, and almost 75% of these complaints end with a settlement at the end of mediation.
Human Rights Legislation To administer and enforce Human Rights Codes, the provincial governments have appointed COMMISSIONS. Most complaints are settled by the Commission, but approximately 4% cannot be resolved at this level and must go on to BOARDS OF INQUIRY or TRIBUNIALS which have the ultimate power to make decisions about a complaint.
Filing a complaint True or False? 1.You require a lawyer to file a complaint. False 2. Once a complaint if filed, you can not “back out” or withdraw your complaint. False 3. Complaints are confidential. True 4.There will be forms and paperwork for you to complete when you go to lodge your complaint. True 5.As the accuser, it is up to you to prove your case. True
In order to establish a “prima facie” case, one must prove that: 1. you were qualified for the particular employment 2. you were not hired; and 3. someone no better qualified got the job and the person who got the job lacks the distinguishing feature that represents the GRAVAMEN of your complaint. (example: race, colour, sexual orientation)
Fast Fact The Ontario Human Rights Commission receives about _____ complaints per year. a) 500 b) 1000 c) 1500 d) 2000 e) 2500 Answer: 2000. About 4% of these are sent to a board of inquiry for resolution.
Dismissing a Complaint The Human Rights Commission may dismiss the complainant for a variety of reasons. These can include; Another legislative act can more appropriately deal with the issue If the complaint was made in bad faith If the complaint is not made within the jurisdiction of the Commission Where the complaint was filed more than 6 months since the latest incident and there was no good reason for delay The complainant has 15 days to appeal a dismissed case.
Possible Remedies to Resolve Issue Respondent to stop practice Respondent to issue letter of apology Respondent to pay the complainant for mental anguish or for any losses suffered in pay or benefits Employer to give back job or to grant promotion Order organization to adopt programs designed to relieve hardship or economic disadvantage Training for all employees around human rights and anti-discrimination and to develop company policies around such issues
Kanags Premakumar v. Air Canada (2000), C.H.R.C. Page 119 1. Why was this case heard by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and not the Province? The Canadian Human Rights Commission heard it because it involved an airline employee which is “run” by the government. The person was a FEDERAL employee. 2. Define the term “prima facie”. How does it apply in this case? “Prima facie” refers to a case whose first impression is legally convincing. Premakumar was able demonstrate that discrimination had taken place. 3. Do you think these remedies were adequate? If not, what other remedies would have been appropriate? The remedy appears to be adequate because he received compensation, an apology, and additional funds for pain and suffering.
Group Activity Instructions 1.Read the scenario given to your group. On the lines provided, record what your group believes are reasonable remedies to the situation. 2.Read the newly presented scenario and remedy/remedies another group had suggested. Record on the chart whether you (as individuals) find the suggested remedies just, slightly just, slightly unjust or unjust. Place your name in the box which best represents your opinion. Discuss your opinion with your group. 3.Read the next scenario presented to you. Record questions or concerns about the scenario and/or the remedies suggested.
Suggest a remedy: Situation #1 A new alcohol and drug testing program came into effect in John’s company. John disclosed that a few years ago he had had an alcohol problem. As a result, he was moved to another job and subjected to rigorous management supervision. The Commission ruled that the program discriminated against persons on the basis of their disabilities or “perceived attitudes.” What should happen?
Suggest a remedy: Situation #2 Norma claimed discrimination at work based on her race and colour. She was subjected to racial slurs, held up to ridicule and deprived of a scheduled salary increase. The Commission found that Norma had been discriminated against because of her race and colour. However, evidence showed that her job performance did not meet expectations. What should happen?
Suggest a remedy: Situation #3 Sam Nang was dismissed from her position as counter help at a coffee bar. She said her employer, Roger, claimed that her hearing impairment interfered with her ability to carry out her job. Roger denied this statement and claimed that Sam Nang was fired for poor job performance. The Commission found that the evidence did not support the respondent’s claim. So… what should happen to Roger?
What do you think?
Human Rights Code: Employment Everyone has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment including training, promotions, apprenticeship, dismissal and layoffs.
Exceptions… Certain actions are not considered discriminatory if they are “reasonable and justifiable”. Some skills are sometimes necessary to do a particular job. Example: A transport company would require all persons who apply to have a valid driver’s license. Because the requirement is essential to the job, it is called a bona fide occupational requirement. It is not considered discriminatory. This is a qualification which is necessary for proper and efficient job performance.
Fast Fact In a job interview, you cannot be asked discriminatory questions. However, for some positions, such as a security guard, not having a criminal record may be a bona fide job requirement.
Another exception to the rule… Affirmative Action: This gives advantages to groups who have been disadvantaged in the past. This means that if 2 people are equally qualified, that priority may be given to the applicant who is a member of a historically disadvantaged group. Example: A female candidate may be chosen over a male candidate for the position of security guard at a women’s shelter, even though his work experience might be more extensive than hers. (Women were a historically disadvantaged group of individuals.)
Types of Discrimination Constructive Discrimination: Employment policies that do not mean to exclude certain individuals. Example: In the past, the RCMP had a minimum height requirement. This excluded many minorities and women. This type of discrimination was struck down by the courts and is no longer allowed. Direct Discrimination: An open and intentional act of discrimination. Example: Refusing service or employment to someone because of his or her membership in a particular group.
British Columbia (P.S.E.R.C.) v. B.C.G.S.E.U., (1993) 3 SCR 3 Page 121 Should men and women be expected to perform the same in terms of physical requirements if they are of the same age? Questions: 1. What was the bona fide occupational requirement associated with this job? Physical Fitness 2. How does the term “constructive Discrimination” apply to this case? The Government wasn’t trying to disqualify anyone, they just had an interest to have safe, healthy and fit people, but their “one- standard” requirement eliminated some people. 3. Do you agree or disagree with the ruling?
Review of terms… Constructive discrimination; Bona fide occupational requirement; Direct discrimination; Affirmative action Unit 5: Human RightsLegal Terms a) __________________________________: giving advantages to groups who have been discriminated against in the past b) __________________________________: an open and intentional act of discrimination c) __________________________________: a qualification that would normally be considered discriminatory, but is necessary for proper or efficient job performance. d) __________________________________: employment policies that inadvertently exclude certain individuals, resulting in discrimination
Answers: a) Affirmative Action b) Direct discrimination c) Bona fide occupational requirement d) Constructive discrimination
Duty to Accommodate and Undue Hardship If an employee practices a particular faith and requires a few days off a year due to religious beliefs, should the employer have to provide the employee with these days off? Under what conditions?
Duty to Accommodate Employer has a duty to accommodate an employee’s needs Employer must try and resolve any conflicts to satisfy the needs of both Employer would not be expected to suffer undue hardship in order to accommodate employee
Undue hardship: a change that would affect the economic viability of the company or produce a substantial health and safety risk that outweighs the benefit of accommodating an individual.
Under the law, no one should have to put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. Do you think that a pin-up of a scantily clad model where people can see it, constitutes sexual harassment?
Harassment in the Workplace Harassment: humiliating or annoying behaviour that is repeated and/or ongoing Sexual Harassment: unwelcome sexual contact, remarks, leering, demands for dates, requests for sexual favours, and displays of sexually offensive pictures or graffiti. Employers are responsible for ensuring that the behaviour of their employees does not constitute harassment. Employers can and will be held responsible for the behaviour of their employees in the course of their employment.
Poisoned environment: This is when a group of people is continually subjected to actions or comments that create an uncomfortable atmosphere. Assignment: Cases
Accommodation and Facilities All people have a right to equal treatment with regard to accommodation and equal access to facilities. Accommodation: The place where people live or want to live Facilities: areas or buildings designated for public use Protection in this area includes the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, marital status or source of income.
Meeting Special Needs Employers are required to accommodate the needs of workers with psychological, emotional or physical disabilities Persons with disabilities have the right to full integration and participation in society Buildings, programs, procedures, and services must be designated to include all persons equally and fully. An employer could plead undue hardship
Group Assignment Instructions Group #1: Read case on page 124 Write a brief summary and answer questions #2 and #3 Group #2: Read case on page 125 Write a brief summary and answer both questions Group #3: Read case on page 128 Write a brief summary and answer both questions Group #4: Read case on page 129 Write a brief summary and answer both questions
Individual Assignment Read “The Final Curtain” on page 128 of your text. Write a letter to the editor outlining your reaction to the Famous Players decision to close its theatres. Before writing, review the format of an editorial in the newspapers provided in the classroom.
Your response will be marked based on the following: Has a catchy title Contains 100 words (minimum) Expresses your opinion and provides support for your opinion Spelling/Grammar Here are some ways to begin your editorial and capture the attention of the audience: Use a quotation and explain the quote and how it relates to the text Present a question for readers to consider Define a term Begin with a short narrative