Please note: This content is provided for the purpose of general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.
There are various statutes prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities that may apply to employers in Canada:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to government action and legislation.
The Canadian Human Rights Act applies to federally regulated employers, including the federal government, Crown corporations, Canada Post, chartered banks, national airlines, inter-provincial communications and telephone companies, inter-provincial transportation companies and other federally regulated industries.
Provincial Human Rights Codes apply to provincially regulated employers.
The Employment Equity Act applies to federally regulated employers.
There are other statutes that may also be relevant. Ontario has taken the human rights issue a step further with the enactment of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) which was passed on June 13, 2005.
The purpose of the AODA, 2005, is to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025, by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards. The Act also provides for the involvement of people with disabilities, representatives of the private sector of the economy and the Government of Ontario in the development of accessibility standards (Section 1).
Every province has some type of legislation that governs workplace health and safety.
The scope of the legislation may vary significantly by jurisdiction. This type of legislation may include restrictions on hours of work, on discipline for absenteeism, on employee benefits and, in some cases, may create entitlements to leave for pregnancy, childbirth, or family emergency. Legislation in this category also includes public insurance plans that cover workplace injury.