Discrimination is Against the Law! A Primer on Human Rights Law in Ontario

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Recorded on December 19, 2012 - This webinar, presented in partnership by the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, provides an overview of the Human Rights Code, …

Recorded on December 19, 2012 - This webinar, presented in partnership by the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, provides an overview of the Human Rights Code, highlighting the grounds and social areas which the Code applies to, exceptions to the Code, and remedies available under the Code. It acquaints listeners with the Human Rights System in Ontario and describes the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario's process.
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  • 1. Developed by: Hamilton Community Legal Clinic Clinique juridique communautaire de Hamilton Funding: Law Foundation of Ontario Presented by: Maria Antelo and Rani Khan Presentation for: CLEO Net Webinar Date: December 19, 2012
  • 2. “All h b i b f“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” U i l D l ti f H Ri htUniversal Declaration of Human Rights United Nations 1948
  • 3. AgendaAgenda 1. Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) 2. What is discrimination? • Social areas • Grounds 3. Exceptions to the Code O S4. Ontario Human Rights System 5. Human Rights Application How to file an application?• How to file an application? 6. Remedies 7 Where to get help?7. Where to get help?
  • 4. Pre-Quiz: True of false? 1. As a refugee I’m not protected under the Code. 2. I can’t live in adult-only apartments because of my children 3 I am 64 so it’s alright for the because of my children. 3. I am 64, so it s alright for the manager to keep asking me when I’m going to retire.
  • 5. Pre-Quiz: True of false? 4. At the library, a man sitting near me says he doesn’t like blacks and that Iy should move away. If I tell the librarian she can tell him to stop. 5 A landlord can refuse to show me5. A landlord can refuse to show me and my boyfriend the apartment because we are a gay couple.g y p
  • 6. Ontario’s HumanOntario’s HumanOntario s HumanOntario s Human Rights CodeRights Code
  • 7. Ontario's Human Rights Code The Code protects people in Ontario against discrimination. - Foundations of the Code - Where the Code came from P bl- Preamble
  • 8. What is discrimination?What is discrimination?
  • 9. What is discrimination? Discrimination is: • treating somebody unfairly or differently • Denying someone a benefit • Excluding someone • Imposing special obligations on someone Because of a characteristic like their race, disability, sex, age or religion, etc. (called a hibit d d)prohibited ground)
  • 10. What is discrimination? Discrimination can target one person- can target one person; - can target a group; - can be hard to see or it can be part of a system.
  • 11. What is discrimination? There are different forms of discrimination: 1. Direct discrimination 2. Indirect discrimination 3. Systemic discrimination 4. Poisoned environment 5. Harassment 6. Racial profiling 7. Reprisal or threat of reprisal
  • 12. What is discrimination? What kind of discrimination is this? Curtis is 17 years old and is trying to find an apartment. He is on social assistance. The landlord asks him to fill out an application.landlord asks him to fill out an application. After a couple of days Curtis calls the landlord to see if he got the apartment. The landlord says “Sorry It’s only for working people ”says Sorry. It s only for working people.
  • 13. What is discrimination? What form of discrimination is this: An organization hires people from all walks of life; and yet it seems that all the managers are older white men.
  • 14. What is discrimination? Harassment: Comments or Conduct that are unwelcome to you
  • 15. Questions?
  • 16. What is discrimination? Social Areas – where is discrimination prohibited?discrimination prohibited? Ontarians enjoy freedom from discrimination in 5 areas, called ' i l ‘'social areas‘: • employment • accommodation • services • goods & facilities• goods & facilities • membership in vocational associations & trade unionsassociations & trade unions
  • 17. What is discrimination? Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination PART 1 of the Code lists the grounds of discrimination — you t di i i t i t th f lcannot discriminate against another person or group of people because of their: • Sexual orientation •Colour • Family status • Marital status • Age •Colour •Ancestry •Place of origin •Citizenship • Receipt of public assistance (Note: This ground applies only to claims •Ethnic origin •Disability •Creed •Sex, including sexualapplies only to claims about housing.) • Record of offences (Note: This ground li l t l i Sex, including sexual harassment, pregnancy, and gender identity, gender expression A i ti / l ti hiapplies only to claims about employment.) •Association/relationship with any of the above
  • 18. What is discrimination? Exceptions to the Code PART 2 of the Code lists some exceptions to the Code— you canPART 2 of the Code lists some exceptions to the Code you can differentiate between people or groups in some instances: • Special Programsp g • Where 65 years of age is a requirement under the law • Where Canadian citizenship is a requirement under the law • Religious/philanthropic/educations/fraternal/social organizations • Separate school boards • Restricting facilities based on gender due to public• Restricting facilities based on gender due to public decency • Minimum drinking/smoking ages • Housing where bathroom/kitchen is shared with landlord • Insurance contracts
  • 19. Questions?
  • 20. I learned… Th O t i H Ri ht C d f• The Ontario Human Rights Code came from international, national and provincial laws and statutes developed after World War II. • Human rights are for everyone. We have the Code to make sure that everyone is treated equally and without discriminationwithout discrimination. • Discrimination can take many forms. It can be against one person or a group of people It can hardlyagainst one person or a group of people. It can hardly be noticeable or it can be part of a system. • Discrimination can be direct indirect systemic orDiscrimination can be direct, indirect, systemic or can look like reprisal, a poisoned environment, harassment or racial profiling.
  • 21. Ontario’s HumanOntario’s Human Rights SystemRights SystemRights SystemRights System
  • 22. Ontario's Human Rights System Ontario’s Human Rights System is made up of three organizations:three organizations: Applicant OHRC HRLSC HRTO
  • 23. Ontario's Human Rights System Ontario’s Human Rights System is made up of three organizations: 1.1. The Ontario Human RightsThe Ontario Human Rights C i i (OHRC)C i i (OHRC) d ld l three organizations: Commission (OHRC)Commission (OHRC) developsdevelops policies, provides public educationpolicies, provides public education 2.2. The Human Rights Legal SupportThe Human Rights Legal Support2.2. The Human Rights Legal SupportThe Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)Centre (HRLSC) provides free legalprovides free legal assistance to people living in Ontarioassistance to people living in Ontario 3 Th H Ri h T ib l f3. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) where all human rights applications are filedpp
  • 24. Questions?
  • 25. Human Rights ApplicationHuman Rights Application
  • 26. Human Rights Application Challenging DiscriminationChallenging Discrimination • Know your rights! • Write EVERYTHING down • Get a witness • Have an organization help you • Tell the person/organization that you feel you are being discriminated against • File a human rights application• File a human rights application
  • 27. Human Rights Application Human Rights Application: Prohibited Ground of Discrimination + Social Area +Discrimination + Social Area + Adverse treatment + Connection to Prohibited GroundProhibited Ground
  • 28. Human Rights Application How do you know if you have a valid human rights claim? Ask yourself: rights claim? Ask yourself: - Did the problem happen in one of the five social areas? Is one or more of the prohibited grounds involved?- Is one or more of the prohibited grounds involved? (such as race, disability, age or sex also involved? - Were you treated differently from other people you experience barriers to participation?you experience barriers to participation? - Is your human rights claim believable? - What impact did the problem have on you?
  • 29. Human Rights Application Process of filing an application Draft Application Send to Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario You, HRLSC Response Reply Mediation 6-8 months Disclosure Hearing 12 to 16 months
  • 30. Questions?
  • 31. RemediesRemedies Human RightsRights
  • 32. Remedies What types of remedies can the Tribunalyp order? There are three types of remedies the Tribunal can order ifThere are three types of remedies the Tribunal can order if discrimination is found: (a)financial compensation (often called “damages”); (b) non-financial compensation (letter of regret, apology, the job, letter of employment, accommodation); and (c) so called “public interest remedies”
  • 33. Where to get helpWhere to get helpWhere to get helpWhere to get help
  • 34. Where to get help www.hrlsc.on.ca 1 866 625 51791-866-625-5179 • Free service to applicants • information advice representation• information, advice, representation • Obligation to serve all of Ontario • Lawyers and paralegalsLawyers and paralegals
  • 35. Where to get help Useful links CERA http://www equalityrights org/cera/http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/ • Centre for Equality Rights in AccommodationAccommodation YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS http://yourlegalrights on ca/http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/ • Information to help you understand and exercise your legal rights inand exercise your legal rights in Ontario
  • 36. Where to get help Website: www.hamiltonjustice.caj Twitter: @HamiltonJustice Facebook: www.facebook.com/HamiltonJustice
  • 37. Questions?
  • 38. What did I learn today?What did I learn today?
  • 39. Thank you for your attention.