Queen's University

Meeting to discuss changes in human rights legislation

 
2008-10-27

All unit heads of academic and non-academic groups are encouraged to attend an inaugural meeting of the Human Rights Group, which will provide them with the information they need to protect themselves and the university from liability.

The meeting takes place this Thursday, Oct. 30 and will discuss recent amendments to Ontario legislation whos impact on employers is significant.

In a recent memo to units, Queen's Legal Counsel and Access and Privacy Co-ordinator Diane Kelly and Human Rights Director Irene Bujara outlined recent changes to human rights-related legislation that give additional responsibilities to employers and service providers to prevent breaches of human rights. 

Some of these recent changes include:

• A new human rights process that allows allegations of human rights violations to go directly to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal;
• A clause in the new Ontario Human Rights Code that allows civil court to consider allegations of human rights violations within a wrongful dismissal lawsuit;
• New regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requiring all service providers (including those who provide academic services such as teaching and supervision) to have the required skills and training to provide accessible services for persons with disabilities;
• Potential changes to Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act which would make workplace violence/harassment a safety issue requiring the same response as is required for other safety concerns covered by that Act.

To help units understand these changes, and how they will affect the workplace, as well as the expectations of the skills required to meet our legal obligations, the group will begin holding quarterly informational meetings beginning in October. They request that a designated member from each unit be assigned to attend these meetings.

Designates are asked to email Linda Grant at lgg@queensu.ca to confirm his/her attendance at the first meeting of the Human Rights Group to be held from 12 to 1:30 pm this Thursday, Oct.23, 2008 in  Dunning Hall, room 114. Lunch will be provided.

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