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Ontario Issues Guidelines on Resolving “Competing Human Rights” Situations


Ontario Issues Guidelines on Resolving “Competing Human Rights” Situations

In terms of human rights, one person’s freedom may be another’s oppression. Consider the case of the visually impaired employee who, thanks to the “reasonable accommodations” provisions of human rights laws, is allowed to bring a guide dog to his no-pets workplace. But that co-worker in the neighbouring cubicle who’s severely allergic to dogs also has the right to be able to do her job. This is just one of the ways employers can end up caught in the middle between conflicting human rights. On April 18, 2012, the Ontario Human Rights Commission issued detailed guidelines to help employers resolve such conflicts. Although an Ontario product, the Guidelines are the first of their kind in Canada and bound to have influence in all parts of the country.
The Guidelines set out a process for handling human rights conflicts—not only in workplaces but housing, educa...

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