Age-related discrimination

Discrimination on the basis of age will soon be prohibited under the Alberta Human Rights Act with respect to the provision of goods, services, accommodation and facilities. Traditionally, the prohibition on age discrimination was limited to employment under the Alberta legislation. However, a recent petition at the Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench led by seniors’ advocates has resulted in the expansion of human rights protection. The petition was not opposed by the Alberta Government, and Justice Paul Belzil gave the province one year to work out certain exemptions before the change becomes law.

Drug and alcohol testing

The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently released a new Policy on Drug and Alcohol Testing. Among other things, the updated Policy “recognizes that it is a legitimate goal for employers to have a safe workplace,” however it makes clear that employers must nevertheless respect human rights laws and employee privacy rights which continue to limit and govern testing in the workplace. The 2016 Policy covers subject matters such as drug and alcohol testing situations, handling of tests and results, consequences of a positive test, and alternative methods.

The 2016 Policy, which was released in September 2016, can be found here.