It is illegal to discriminate against an individual during the hiring of employees. Discrimination means prejudice based on the following “grounds”: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. In Ontario everyone has the right to be free from discrimination as per the Human Rights Code.
Accordingly, it is illegal for an employer to:
- publish a job advertisement which discriminates applicants based on discriminatory grounds.
- refuse to hire applicants based on discriminatory grounds.
At the same time, during a job interview, it is illegal to ask questions that relate to, or screen out, an applicant’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. In this regard, employers are not allowed to ask questions or ask applicants to fill our forms that prescreen, for example, height & weight, finances, religious affiliation or beliefs, marital status, number of children and gender, etc. Likewise, employers should not ask an applicant to provide a photograph.
Finally, employers must accommodate applicants with disabilities who need accommodation in the application process of the job interview (i.e. sign language interpreter, wheelchair accessibility, etc.).
If an employer is found guilty of discriminating against an applicant for a job they could have to pay the employe all of his or her lost wages plus general damages for the injury to his or her dignity.
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Dutton Employment Law is a law firm that advises on hiring discrimination.
If you believe you were discriminated against as an applicant to a job, please contact a human rights, discrimination lawyer today.