The University of Ottawa complies with the provisions related to discrimination that are contained in The Ontario Human Rights Code, Occupational Health and Safety Act and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.

 The Ontario Human Rights Code provides that every person has the right to equal treatment with respect to goods, services, facilities, housing, contracts and employment as well as membership in trade or professional associations and unions without discrimination grounds of:

  • Race
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Colour
  • Ethnic origin
  • Citizenship
  • Creed
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Age
  • Record of offence
  • Receipt of  public assistance
  • Marital status
  • Family status
  • Disability

Discrimination is defined in University Policy 67a as:

a) a distinction—intentional or unintentional, direct or indirect—because of a person’s race, ancestry, ethnic origin, creed, place of origin, colour, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, pregnancy, marital status, family status, record of offences, political affiliation, religious belief, disability or means to accommodate the disability and

b) that has the effect of erecting barriers, or creating obligations, disadvantages or situations of unequal treatment that withhold or limit access to privileges, advantages or political, social or economic rights available to other members of society.

It can take many different forms, can target a single person or a group and can be part of a system.

According to The Ontario Human Rights Commission, “a person discriminates ‘directly’ when the action itself is discriminatory and when the person acts on his or her own behalf.

Example: An employer refuses to consider a pregnant female candidate or one who has just had a child for a promotion.

According to The Ontario Human Rights Commission, indirect discrimination is discrimination carried out through another person.

Example: An employee asks the director to not consider a female candidate who is pregnant or wishes to have children for a promotion.

Sometimes a rule or practice unintentionally singles out particular people and results in unequal treatment. This type of unintentional discrimination is called “constructive” or “adverse effect” discrimination. The Human Rights Code also protects against this type of discrimination.

Example: An internal policy that provides an attendance bonus for employees who work over a certain number of overtime hours in a year.

Systemic discrimination results when organizational policies, practices and cultures, for example, create or perpetuate unequal treatment of a person or persons.

Example: A policy stipulating that firefighters must meet a height requirement of six feet, which disadvantages most women, for example.

For more information on discrimination, please visit the Ontario Human Rights Commission website.

Do you need help now?

Protection Services: 613-562-5499
Protection Services (Emergency): 613-562-5411
Police: 911

Contact us

Human Rights Office

1 Stewart St.
(Main Floor – Room 121)
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1N 6N5

Tel.: 613-562-5222
Email: [email protected]

Monday to Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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