OHRC seeking input from HR professionals

Deadline for feedback on gender identity, expression July 12
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/20/2013

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) is seeking input from HR professionals on gender identity and expression in the workplace — by July 12, 2013.

The commission released a policy on gender identity and human rights in 2000 stating the ground of sex could be used to protect trans people from discrimination and harassment. In 2012, two new grounds — “gender identity” and “gender expression” — were added as grounds of discrimination.

Adding these grounds makes it clear trans people are entitled to the same legal protections from discrimination and harassment as everyone else. These grounds will also protect people who face harassment or discrimination because they are perceived to be trans or do not conform to stereotypical gender norms.

To reflect these new grounds, as well as other developments relating to human rights and gender identity, the OHRC is revising its policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity.

The OHRC is looking for input on the challenges HR professionals face in understanding human rights issues related to gender identity and expression in the workplace. It also wants to hear about what information they need to help their organization meet its human rights responsibilities:

•What are the biggest challenges you face, as an employer or HR professional, in understanding gender identity in the workplace and the rights of trans employees?

•What information do you need to understand your organization’s responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code related to gender identity and gender expression?

•What information do you need to develop effective anti-discrimination/harassment and accommodation policies related to gender identity and expression?

The OHRC would also like to hear from you about:

•how employers and unions can facilitate the transition process for employees

•best practices in accommodation

•examples of anti-discrimination/harassment policies and accommodation policies that address gender identity and gender expression.

The broader public consultation survey can be found at


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