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Human Rights & Harassment in the Workplace

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Presentation on theme: "Human Rights & Harassment in the Workplace"— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Rights & Harassment in the Workplace
Cooperative Education Pre-placement Ms. Cayford & Ms. Wilson-Clark

2 Human Rights Legislation in Canada
All human rights legislation must follow the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, passed in Section 15(1) of the Charter states: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination...” The Canadian Human Rights Act was passed in 1976 with the express goal of extending the law to ensure equal opportunity to individuals who may be victims of discriminatory practices based on a set of prohibited grounds such as sex, disability, or religion.

3 The Ontario Human Rights Code
The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law in the province of Ontario that gives all people equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific areas such as housing and services. The Code's goal is to prevent discrimination and harassment because of race, colour, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, creed, age and other grounds.

In Ontario, we all have a responsibility to make sure that discrimination forbidden by the Code does not occur. All of us who live in Ontario must: avoid discriminating against or harassing others; address discrimination when we see, or are the victim of, discriminatory treatment; report incidents of discrimination, either to school authorities or to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, and urge others who are the victims of discrimination to do so as well; and learn about human rights and teach them to others, thus ensuring that people know their rights and responsibilities under the Code.

5 Human Rights Quiz In your student handouts booklet you received, complete the following tasks: HUMAN RIGHTS QUIZ Read “Fact Sheet #1: Scope of the Code”


7 Harassment The Code defines harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious [annoying or provoking] comment or conduct which is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” The most important word in the definition is “unwelcome.” We do not have the right to impose our words or actions on someone if they are not wanted. It does not matter if the person has done this intentionally or unintentionally. Some people may be shy or afraid to respond to unwelcome comments or actions. That is why the Code includes the words “ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.”


9 Sexual Harassment Every employee has the right to be free from sexual harassment from other employees, supervisors and customers. Sexual harassment occurs when someone receives unwelcome sexual attention and the person making the comments or showing such conduct knows or should reasonably know that the comments or behaviour are offensive, inappropriate, intimidating or hostile. The Code is also violated when anyone receives a sexual solicitation from a supervisor or other person in a position of authority, if he or she knows or ought reasonably to know it is unwelcome. It is also a violation when a supervisor threatens or penalizes an employee for not complying with the sexual demands. The Code prohibits sexual harassment of students by other students, teachers by students and students by teachers as unequal treatment on the basis of sex.

10 Poisoned Environment A poisoned environment is created by comments or conduct that ridicule or insult a person or group protected under the Code. It violates their right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, accommodation and employment. It is also produced when such actions or comments are not directed specifically at individuals. For example, insulting jokes, slurs or cartoons about gays and lesbians or racial groups, or pin-up photos that demean women, all contribute to a poisoned environment for members of those groups.

11 Systematic Discrimination
Systemic discrimination is discrimination that is part of the operating procedures of many organizations, whether a business, service organization or social institution, such as a school, hospital, government office, law court, etc. It can involve various forms of discrimination present in the practices of an organization, some of which may be invisible. It has the effect of denying whole groups of people their rights or excluding them from participation. For example: Racism or prejudice by those in positions of authority may violate the rights of members of certain groups, such as when an organization hires or promotes only White males. Biases against groups may mean that they are treated differently. For example, an organization hires only women in clerical positions and only men in sales positions. A school may discriminate against people with disabilities in a way that is systemic. For example, there may be no ramps and automatic doors, no accommodating washrooms, no special learning aids or testing procedures, all of which bar people with disabilities from access to the learning opportunities offered.

12 Harassment is Serious! The Ministry of Labour enforces Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act. The Ministry encourages internal workplace resolution of complaints. Where possible, workplace health and safety complaints should first be brought to the attention of the supervisor or employer, to the Joint Health and Safety Committee, if there is one, or to the health and safety representative if any. If an employer is not complying with the workplace violence and workplace harassment requirements in the OHSA, workers should call the ministry's province-wide Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre toll-free at to file a complaint. Individuals who wish to remain anonymous may do so. The ministry can visit the workplace to assess whether the employer has a workplace harassment and violence policy and program in place. For related information, please visit the Ministry of Labour's webpage at The employer duty to notify the Ministry of Labour when a person is critically injured or killed in a workplace includes situations when the cause is workplace violence. Always contact police first in emergency situations, if threats or actual violence occurs at a workplace.

13 Human Rights & Harassment Case Studies
In your student handouts booklet please read the Case Studies and answer the accompanying questions for ALL Case Studies (A, D, E, and G). Please HAND IN your responses for assessment when complete.

14 Applying Harassment to “The Simpsons” 
The Simpson’s Season 4: Marge Gets a Job Using your notes from today’s class, identify areas of harassment that are present in this episode

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