Women, Work and Equality: An Introduction to Human Rights Law in the Workplace

Popular Legal Education and Consultation Series: Module 1

This workshop will look at the human rights framework in the federal sector – its strengths and its weaknesses. We will review recommendations that are designed to promote substantive equality for women. In order to remedy systemic patterns of discrimination, governments and employers have to adopt positive measures that enable disadvantaged groups to access employment, promotion and other opportunities for advancement.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Objectives

2. Identifying discrimination and defining equality
2.1 Legal definitions of discrimination
2.2 Different notions of equality
2.3 Women’s rights in the workplace
2.4 Challenging discrimination in the workplace

3. Filing a Complaint Against Discrimination in the Workplace
3.1 The objectives of the Canadian Human Rights Act
3.2 The Grover Case
3.3 The Action Travail des femmes Case
3.4 The weaknesses of the complaints based model

4. Reforming Human Rights Legislation
4.1 NAWL’s recommendations
4.2 The La Forest Report: Reforming the CHRA to promote equality

5. A Systemic Remedy for Systemic Discrimination
5.1 The Abella Report Employment Equity
5.2 The Federal Employment Equity Act
5.3 How to respond to employment equity myths
5.4 Promoting employment equity

6. Employers’ Duty to Build Equality Into Workplace Standards
6.1 The Duty to Accommodate: the O’Malley Case
6.2 A Turning Point for Equality Rights: The Meiorin Case

7. Promoting Equality
7.1 The role of the Canadian Charter
7.2 The role of international law
7.3 NAWL’s campaigns
7.4 What you can do now

8. Conclusion


No 1 – Pay Equality Questionnaire
No 2 – Minimum Wage and Women’s Equality
No 3 – The Grover Case
No 4 – The Action Travail des Femmes Case
No 5 – The O’Malley Case: The Duty to Accommodate
No 6 – The Meiorin Case
No 7 – The Vriend Case
No 8 – The Dunmore Case: A Positive State Obligation


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