Human rights are an increasingly complex aspect of legal relations in Ontario. They arise in a broad range of disputes, and are dealt with before a wide variety of judicial and administrative bodies. Given their prevalence, lawyers must understand human rights issues and how they intersect with other areas of law.
We have special expertise in human rights law. We regularly act for individuals, trade unions, academic institutions, regulators, employers and employees in their capacities as plaintiffs/applicants, defendants/respondents and intervenors in disputes involving human rights. We have won several landmark cases before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The cases in which we have been involved are among the leading cases defining the scope and impact of human rights in Ontario.
- Representative Work
Don Eady and Jessica Latimer represented the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union against the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services before the Grievance Settlement Board(“GSB”) with respect to two grievances filed on behalf of an employee. The first grievance alleged that the Ministry had condoned harassment and discrimination of the employee because of his sexual orientation and had allowed a poisoned work environment to persist in the workplace. The second grievance alleged that the Ministry had failed to accommodate the employee when he became ill as a result of the harassment and discrimination and the poisoned work environment . In 2011, the GSB found for the union and declared that the Ministry had breached the collective agreement and the Human Rights Code. In the second decision, the GSB had to determine the amount of damages that flowed from the finding of liability. In a decision released in July, 2013, the GSB awarded the employee compensatory damages totalling $98,000 as well as lost vacation and a top up until retirement of overtime and shift premiums the employee would have received if he had been able to remain employed in the correctional facility. The $98,000 award is the largest ever compensatory damages award made by the Grievance Settlement Board. To read the decision, click here.
Nini Jones successfully argued on behalf of OPSEU in Arias v. Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples, 2009 HRTO 1025 that a union cannot be to have violated the Human Rights Code simply by failing to properly or adequately represent one of its members.
Nini Jones, Tina Lie and Nasha Nijhawan successfully argued Krieger v. Toronto Police Services Board, 2008 HRTO 183 before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, a case involving the discriminatory termination of a probationary police officer. In Krieger, the Tribunal ordered the reinstatement of the police officer's employment, the first case to do so under the new human rights regime in Ontario.