Workers with disabilities not worth less (Editor’s Notes)

Provincial employment standards biased against people with disabilities
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/11/2011

If you’re released from prison in Calgary, don’t forget to ask for your horse, gun and bullets so you can ride safely out of town. When you’re in British Columbia and you stumble upon a sasquatch, remember — you’re not allowed to kill it. And if you’re in Oshawa, Ont., and thinking about climbing a tree, you’d better have $250 handy.

Canada is full of quirky laws that are, or once were, on the books. But there are sections in current employment standards legislation in three provinces — I’m looking at you Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — that need to be repealed immediately.

All three of those provinces have language that says it’s OK to pay a worker with a disability less than minimum wage. There’s nothing quirky or silly about those laws. Ravi Malhotra, an associate law professor at the University of Ottawa, put the spotlight on this practice in a recent column in the Winnipeg Free Press.