Know Your Rights - Disability Law Resources


Whether you’re in the midst of researching careers, gaining experience through internships and part-time jobs, or settling into a longer term position after graduation, it is crucial to be aware of your rights under the law.  Below are various links to a variety of sources detailing the important legislation pieces and employment standards designed to protect all employees working in Canada. These are useful resources to consult if you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your disability or any other status or identity, such as culture, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Having knowledge of these legal protections can facilitate a discussion with relevant parties such as: supervisors, human resources personnel, union reps, equity and diversity officers (if your organization or company has them), professional associations or regulatory bodies, or an ombudsperson. Many issues can be resolved through dialogue and improved communications.

Talking about your specific workplace issues with a Career Counsellor or Employment Strategist at the Career Centre, can also be helpful.

Both Federal and Provincial levels of government register and hear discrimination complaints. If other methods of resolving an issue of discrimination are not effective you can also file a Human Rights complaint at Canadian Human Rights Commission  or with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.  See below for the actual codes.

The Canadian Human Rights Charter

The Ontario Human Rights Codes

Read the full version of the Human Rights Code that outlines in detail what exactly constitutes “discrimination” in Ontario and explains which protections under the law exist for individuals living and working in the province.  A simplified version of the Ontario Human Rights Code is also available with a brief list of protected groups and sectors that must abide by the Code accordingly.

The Employment Equity Act

The purpose of this Federal Act is to ensure equal and fair access to employment opportunities and also upholds the duty to accommodate person’s disabilities. Employment Equity Act

The Ontario Employment Standards Act

The Employment Standards Act is an Ontario piece of legislation that protects workers and regulates several key issues pertaining to working in the province including: wages, vacation pay, hours of work, leaves of absences, benefits, and workplace safety.  Here are the major features of this Act

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act highlights the standards in which employers, businesses and service providers in the province are to follow when working with persons with disabilities.  The Act is designed to remove barriers to participation in all aspect of society of persons with disabilities by the year 2025. 

This series of short videos explains how the Ontario Human Rights Code and the AODA work together to support equity in Ontario.

To review the Act itself please visit here.  More information can be found through AODA Alliance’s (a not for profit) website.

Legal Support and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

ARCH Disability Law Centre is a specialty community legal aid clinic dedicated to defending and advancing the equality rights of people with disabilities in Ontario. ARCH provides legal services to help Ontarians with disabilities live with dignity and participate fully in our communities. We work with Ontarians with disabilities and the disability community on law reform and policy initiatives, community development, legal advice and referrals, public legal education and litigation.

If you have a work or recruitment situation in which you feel your rights as a person or worker have been violated, it may help to talk it through with someone. Please make an appointment with us to discuss it further.