June was a busy month at the Commission who released a policy entitled Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions and Submission regarding Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2013-2014 Legislative review.
In Fiscal 2013-2014, the Tribunal received 3,242 applications. Of these, 74% were in the area of employment and 54% of the applications cited disability as a ground of discrimination.
While the Policy lacks the force of law, it is nonetheless important and instructive. As the Commission notes:
The OHRC’s policies reflect its interpretation of the Code, and set out standards, guidelines and best practice examples for how individuals, service providers, housing providers, employers and others should act to ensure equality for all Ontarians. The OHRC’s Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions provides practical guidance on the legal rights and responsibilities set out in the Code as they relate to mental health and addiction issues.
Employers are well advised to review these two documents.