When employees understand their responsibilities and rights under the Alberta Human Rights Act, they could play essential roles in ensuring their dignity is respected. However, the primary responsibility for ensuring an inclusive work environment is on the shoulders of the employer. The law is mandatory, and it requires that recruitment, assignments, promotions and employment termination must be free of discrimination.
In the process of ensuring no workplace discrimination, employers must:
- Remove barriers based on any of the protected grounds
- Consider accommodation requests related to protected grounds
- Provide requested accommodation unless it causes undue hardship
- Develop procedures and policies free of discrimination
- Investigate discrimination allegations promptly
- Take appropriate action if discrimination allegations are substantiated
- Introduce policies and preventative measures to respect all
Extended workplace discrimination
An employer’s responsibility to ensure everybody’s dignity is respected does not stop at the workplace, and it is not limited to work hours.
Under Human Rights laws, employees are protected from discrimination in other locations where their presence is work-related. Staff members who behave with inappropriate discrimination during a work function or business trip may find themselves in violation of the human rights law. Furthermore, the employer could be held responsible if any staff members infringe the human rights protections under the law.
Many employers in Alberta seek professional guidance to ensure inclusive workplaces. Similarly, employees who believe they are victims of discrimination might have questions about their legal rights and how to report the matter.