When you’re starting to drown between employee concerns, payroll duties and helping your CEO -- HR Insider is there to help get the logistical work out of the way.
Need a policy because of a recent regulatory change? We’ve got it for you. Need some quick training on a specific HR topic? We’ve got it for you. HR Insider provides the resources you need to craft, implement and monitor policies with confidence. Our team of experts (which includes lawyers, analysts and HR professionals) keep track of complex legislation, pending changes, new interpretations and evolving case law to provide you with the policies and procedures to keep you ahead of problems. FIND OUT MORE...
Which Discrimination Traps to Avoid

Discrimination Traps to Avoid


Policy A: Adopted by a company that wants to segregate its facilities by race: “This plant is a whites-only facility; African-Canadians need not apply.”

 Policy B: Adopted by a company in a rural area where only 20% of the minority population has a high school education: “All personnel must have a high school diploma.”

Policy C: Adopted by an accounting firm that wants to project a professional image: “All employees must be clean shaven; beards are strictly prohibited.”

Policy D: Adopted by a fire department that only started hiring women a few years ago: “Firefighters must have at least 20 years’ experience to be promoted to chief.”


 Which of the above policies is discriminatory?

A. Policy A
B. Policy B
C. Policy C
D. Policy D
E. All of the above

[learn_more caption=”Click for Answer” ]

E. All four of these policies raise problems of discrimination albeit for different reasons.


Discrimination can be either direct or indirect. Direct discrimination occurs when an employer openly treats a person or group unfavourably on the basis of their race, religion, sex, etc. Policy A above is a clear example of direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination occurs when a policy that appears to be neutral has the effect of excluding people because of their race, etc. Such policies pose a bigger liability threat to employers because they look non-discriminatory.


 A is directly discriminatory because it openly excludes African-Canadians and promotes racial segregation is direct discrimination.

B is indirectly discriminatory. Although a high school diploma requirement is neutral on its face, in this community it would have the effect of excluding minorities in disproportional numbers.

C is indirectly discriminatory.A no-beards policy is problematic because it has the effect of excluding people who practice religions like Sikhism requiring men to have facial hair.

D is indirectly discriminatory. A 20-years’ experience rule might be fine for many workplaces; but in a fire department where women have only been hired as firefighters for a few years, it has the effect of sex discrimination.


[gview file=”https://hrinsider.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Discrimination_Traps_to_Avoid_Quiz_HRI.pdf”]