Employment equity act (1987) • Justice Abella was appointed to oversee the Royal Commission on Equality in Employment • Employment Equity Act was passed by the federal government in 1987 – Employers with 100+ employees under federal jurisdiction to develop annual plans setting out goals and timetables Employment equity amendment (1996) • As of 1996, employers are responsible for providing reasonable accommodation. Examples include: – Providing a sign language interpreter for a job interview with a deaf applicant – Altering or grooming codes to allow Aboriginal people to wear braids, etc. Impact of Employment Equity on HR • Human resource plans • Job descriptions • Recruiting • Selection • Training and development • Performance appraisal • Compensation program Major Steps: Employment Equity Programs Pay equity • Equal pay for work of equal value
– Federally, and in most provinces, laws exist that make it illegal to pay women less than men if their jobs are of equal value • Recent cases include: – Federal government settled in 1999 at a cost of over $3.5 billion – 2011 Supreme Court of Canada ruling involving Canada Post is expected to cost $250 million Reverse discrimination • Usually arises when an employer seeks to hire or promote a member of a protected group over an equally (or better) qualified candidate who is not a member of a protected group – Places HR departments in difficult position – Canadian Human Rights Act declares Employment Equity Programs non-discriminatory if they fulfil the spirit of the law Principles of natural justice • Minimum standards of fairness and implied obligations for decision-making • Right: – To a fair hearing – start asking “what happened?” – To a bias-free proceeding – To present the opposing argument – Of legal representation – To timely notice of a hearing – To a timely process Other Areas of HR Relevant Laws • Canadian Labour Code (1971) • Dismissal • Hours of work and overtime regulations • Minimum wages • Occupational health and safety • Weekly rest day • WHMIS Workplace diversity • Includes important human characteristics that influence an employee’s values, perceptions of self and others, behaviours, and interpretations of events Organizational barriers • Old boy’s network – Informal relationships among male managers and executives • Glass ceiling – Invisible but real obstructions to career advancement of women and visible minorities • Stereotyping – Using a few observable characteristics to assign someone to a social category Dimensions of Diversity
Diversity management • Organizations need to hire and promote minorities • E.g. Over 6% of Canadians have some form of disability Strategic implications • Ensure all rules and policies consider legal aspects • Good corporate citizen • Training • Dismissal linked to behaviour of employees at all levels • Make behaviour part of organizational strategy Strategic importance Steps in managing diversity Current industry practices
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