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Discrimination / Human Rights
Human Rights in Alberta means the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of certain protected grounds. Discrimination in the workplace occurs when someone is treated in a negative way at work as a result of those protected human rights grounds, which generally are things that the person has no control over, such as their race, religious beliefs, skin colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation.
Discrimination In The Workplace
Human rights laws in Alberta and across Canada are designed to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace, but unfortunately discrimination still happens. The Alberta Human Rights Commission can provide general assistance and guidance to individuals who wish to file workplace discrimination complaints, but they cannot provide you with legal advice or legal representation.
All of Bow River Law’s lawyers are human rights and discrimination lawyers. Our lawyers have experience in discrimination and human rights matters in the Alberta workplace, and we have developed effective strategies for resolving matters with employers. In some cases where a resolution with the employer is not possible, one of our lawyers can provide you with legal advice and guidance throughout the discrimination complaint process and be a strong advocate for you.
Discrimination and Your Human Rights
Human rights matters are deeply personal, and often times they can involve other workplace issues such as wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal. Our lawyers want to hear your story and fight for you. Let us help you.
If you are an Alberta employer that has found itself in the position of needing to accommodate, discipline or terminate the employment of someone with a disability, let us help you understand your legal rights and obligations before you make a serious or irreversible mistake.
- Alberta employers will sometimes impose discipline or termination of employment on employees for reasons connected to their protected human rights grounds (i.e. disability, pregnancy, etc.). Employers are often not allowed to discipline or terminate employment for reasons connected to human rights, but it is complicated so it’s important to seek legal advice.
- Under the Alberta Human Rights Act, an individual has one (1) year from the date of an act of discrimination to file a human rights complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. This is a strict deadline, and it is not negotiable. If you are an Alberta employee who believes that you may have been discriminated against in the workplace, it is very important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as waiting too long could jeopardize your ability to make a complaint.
- When Alberta employees are dealing with a disability or a medical condition, employers are required to accommodate their disability or condition to the point of “undue hardship”. This is very difficult for employers to accomplish in some cases. We can help employees determine if they are being properly accommodated, and we can help employers understand their rights and obligations. Let us help you.
- I have a physical disability, and there is a part of my job I can’t do. Can my employer fire me?
An employer is required to accommodate a disability. Even if there is a part of your job you can’t do, your employer is probably not allowed to fire you for that. You should speak to an employment lawyer right away to help you handle this.
- What can I do if my child cannot go to daycare if she gets a cold, but my employer is punishing me for missing work to take care of her?
An employer is required to accommodate your need to secure childcare for your child. This is a complicated issue and not all cases are the same. If this is happening at your workplace, speak to an employment lawyer right away for help.
- I am Muslim and I wear a hijab. Can my boss ask me to take it off at work?
An employer cannot normally ask someone wearing a hijab to take it off at work. If this is happening, it is likely discrimination in employment practices and you should speak to an employment lawyer for help.
- Can my employer only promote the white people at work?
Employers cannot deny promotions and opportunities to people based on the color of their skin. If they do, it is discrimination in employment practices. This sort of discrimination can be difficult to prove, but an employment lawyer can help you build your case and understand your rights.
- Can I fire a Disabled Employee?
An employer is generally allowed to terminate the employment of a disabled employee, as long as the disability is not a factor in the dismissal. If the disability is a factor, the termination is a discriminatory human rights violation in Alberta.
- How do I make a human rights complaint against my employer in Alberta?
We recommend that you have a lawyer help you make a human rights complaint, but there is also some public information available at the website for the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
- What can I do if I was injured and cannot work?
If you were injured and cannot work, you are likely entitled to a number of legal protections we can help you with, including accommodations or disability coverage. The Alberta Workers Compensation Board covers some workplace injuries as well.
Discrimination / Human Rights Legal Blog Articles
Untangling the Impact of Horrocks on Human Rights Law In Alberta AHRC Says Context Needed In Accommodation Case ABKB Gives AHRC Direction On Screening And Credibility
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