The workplace is no longer what it used to be, and the circumstances that an employer must accommodate continue to expand. Be it dress codes or medicinal marijuana, human rights continue to impact the workplace.
This year, on International Women’s Day, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released an inquiry report stating that sexualized and gender-based dress codes are off the menu in Ontario’s restaurants, and will no longer be tolerated. Employers expose themselves to significant liability if they have discriminatory dress codes or if they fail to fulfill their duty to accommodate.
This program will review the legal obligations of employers to accommodate such requests, and will provide employers with some best practices to ensure they respond to requests for accommodation appropriately.
• Understanding the duty to accommodate special requests such as those relating to dress codes
• Gaining knowledge of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s inquiry report on sexual and gender-based dress codes in Ontario’s restaurants
• Learning some best practices in responding to requests for accommodation and the importance of policy and process
Nadia Zaman, Rudner Macdonald LLP
Nadia Zaman is an Associate at Rudner MacDonald LLP, a boutique firm specializing in Canadian Employment Law. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. While in law school, Nadia volunteered in: developing written accommodation policies to promote mental health awareness as an Equity Officer; guiding prospective students as a Student Ambassador; reviewing papers for publication as Senior Editor of the Journal of Law & Equality; and, managing files for low-income clients at the Downtown Legal Services Clinic.
Prior to law school, Nadia graduated Summa Cum Laude from Trinity College, University of Toronto with a double major in Criminology and Ethics, Society & Law. She received the Brian Morgan Scholarship in Law. During her final two years, she conducted extensive research and analysis on criminal justice policy with leading criminologist, Professor Emeritus Anthony Doob, including interviewing a past Deputy Minister of Justice. Nadia also served as the President of the Ethics, Society & Law Students’ Association and as Co-Director of UNICEF at the University of Toronto’s Youth Engagement Program.
Currently, as President of the Asian Youth Centre (Canada Chapter), Nadia promotes social justice and engages with a network of diverse individuals. She also serves on the executive committee of the Ontario Bar Association’s Labour & Employment Law Section.
Stuart Rudner, Rudner MacDonald LLP
Stuart Rudner is a founding partner of Rudner MacDonald LLP. He provides senior counsel in all aspects of the employment relationship including policies and procedures, hiring, employment agreements, human rights issues, reducing labour costs, restrictive covenants, discipline and termination. Stuart is the founder and moderator of the Canadian HR Law Group on LinkedIn, which now counts more than 14,000 HR professionals, lawyers and businesspeople as members. He enjoys an ever-increasing following for his prolific Twitter updates @CanadianHRlaw and blog posts – which prompted Klout (a website providing social media analytics to measure user influence) to recognize him as a "specialist." In addition to Rudner MacDonald’s blog and his Canadian HR Law Blog, Stuart is part of the team of contributors to the First Reference Talks Blog.
Stuart is regularly called upon by the media to provide his expert opinion on employment law matters. Stuart represented the Human Resources Professionals Association at the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark employment law case of Keays v. Honda Canada Inc., a testament to his stellar ability to represent clients before courts, mediators and tribunals. His book You're Fired! Just Cause for Dismissal in Canada, published by Thomson Reuters, has received critical acclaim since its release in 2011. Stuart has also contributed to four other employment law texts.
Stuart chairs and speaks at conferences frequently, including those offered by the Human Resources Professionals Association, Ontario Bar Association, and Law Society of Upper Canada. He has been the Chair of the Osgoode Professional Development’s Employment Law Update each year since its inception. He is also the founding Program Director of their HR Law for HR Professionals course and the new Advanced HR Law for HR Professionals course. He has been on the Editorial Advisory Boards for both HR Professional Magazine and Consult Carswell.