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Understanding Workplace Discrimination Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding Workplace Discrimination Laws: A Comprehensive Guide

May 15, 2024

You should understand workplace discrimination so that you take the right steps to prevent it. Let’s go over the guide to understand the details, their types, and steps to take. 

Understanding Discrimination

When an employer treats a worker less favourably because of a protected trait, it is discrimination. These qualities may consist of:

  • Race: This includes the colour of your skin, your ethnicity, your country of origin, and your lineage.
  • Gender: This encompasses the identities of male, woman, transgender, and non-binary individuals.
  • Age: For workers over 40, it is usually illegal to discriminate based on age.
  • Religion: Your religious practices or beliefs are not grounds for discrimination by employers.
  • Disability: A physical, sensory, or mental impairment can prevent one from engaging in a significant activity of daily living.
  • Sexual Orientation: Attraction to one’s sex, the other sex, or neither may not be taken into consideration while making job decisions.
  • Pregnancy: Employees who are expecting a child, are currently pregnant, or just gave birth cannot be subjected to discrimination by their employers.

Important Types of Discrimination in the Workplace

There are several ways that discrimination might appear, some more covert than others. Here are a few typical examples:

  • Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual approaches, demands for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual character are all considered forms of sexual harassment, which is a type of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment may affect both men and women, and it can make the workplace unfriendly.

  • Race Discrimination in the Workplace

Race discrimination in the workplace occurs when someone is treated unfairly due to their race or due to personal traits connected to race (e.g., skin tone, hair type, or specific facial features). Discriminatory policies or practices that disproportionately impact employees of a certain race can also be considered forms of racial discrimination.

  • Age Discrimination in the Workplace

When an applicant or employee is treated less favourably due to their age, this is known as age discrimination in the workplace. This is especially important as a more diverse workforce is being created, and both younger and older workers want equitable treatment when it comes to recruiting and promotion opportunities.

  • Disability Discrimination

When employers or other workers treat someone unfairly due to a disability, a history of disability, or because they suspect they may have a physical or mental impairment that is not temporary and small, this is known as disability discrimination. Employers must make reasonable adjustments so that employees with disabilities can carry out their duties.

  • Discrimination Based on Gender

When someone is treated unfairly due to their gender identity or expression, that is considered gender discrimination. Every facet of employment, including hiring, firing, compensation, work assignments, and promotions, may be impacted.

  • Pregnancy Discrimination

When a pregnant woman is treated unfairly due to her pregnancy, her delivery, or a medical condition associated with her pregnancy or childbirth, this is known as pregnancy discrimination. Employers are not allowed to refuse candidates for employment on the grounds of pregnancy and must make adequate adjustments.

  • Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

It is unacceptable to treat employees unfairly due to their religious convictions, which is religious discrimination in the workplace. Employers must respect an employee’s religious convictions and practices unless doing so would significantly interfere with the employer’s ability to conduct business.

Besides the fact that employers should not treat their employees unfairly, they should also consider employment standards in Canada.

Employment Law Considerations for Remote Workers

But what if you work remotely, how can you understand that the business owner treats you equally? Employment law considerations for remote workers are the following:


  • Accessibility: In a remote work environment, employers must provide suitable accommodations for those with impairments.
  • Monitoring: Employers should have explicit guidelines on how they will keep an eye on the job being done by remote workers.
  • Communication: Maintaining equitable access to opportunities and information while preventing feelings of isolation requires regular contact.

Identifying and Resolving Discrimination

What to do during discrimination?

  • Document: Maintain thorough records of the dates, times, and particular instances of discriminatory conduct
  • Report: If you feel safe doing so, let your supervisor or the Human Resources department know.
  • Seek Advice: To learn more about your legal rights and choices, think about getting in touch with an employment lawyer.

Extra Sources:

  • Employment Lawyer: Speaking with an employment lawyer can help you receive tailored guidance on your particular circumstances.
  • Government Agencies: Resources on discrimination and employment standards are frequently available from both federal and local governments.
  • Employee Advocacy Groups: These groups assist and counsel workers who are having problems at work.

Employment Lawyers’ Role

When it comes to interpreting and upholding rules against workplace discrimination, employment lawyers are essential. They assist employees in understanding their rights and the options open to them in the case that they encounter discrimination, and they offer advice to employers on how to comply with these laws. When handling complicated discrimination situations, speaking with an employment lawyer can be quite important.

Now you know all about discrimination and the steps to take. For finding a legal professional, who can help you with discrimination issues,subscribe to LawVo. 

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