glossary

Glossary

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Title: halfway house
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Halfway houses are also called “community residences”. When someone is serving a sentence, they may spend time in a halfway house.

Title: harassment
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Ontario’s laws say that harassment happens when someone says or does things that they know, or should know, will bother you. This could be because what is said or done is offensive, embarrassing, humiliating, demeaning, or not welcome. This usually has to happen more than once to be considered harassment, but a single incident can be considered harassment if it causes you to feel very uncomfortable.

Harassment can include sending emails, posting materials or pictures, making jokes or other comments about:

  • your race, gender identity, gender expression, sex, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age
  • things like the way you dress, how you talk, or your religious practices
  • in housing law, if you are receiving social assistance
  • in employment law, your record of criminal offences

Harassment like this goes against human rights laws and is a kind of discrimination. For example, if an employer harasses you because of your record of criminal offences or a landlord harasses you because you are on welfare.

Harassment is also against the laws that protect a workers’ health and safety, and the laws that protect tenants. 

Title: hearing
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A hearing is a formal proceeding that takes place in a courtroom. During the proceeding, evidence and arguments are presented. A judge or justice of the peace makes a decision based on the evidence and arguments.

Title: held down
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When your case is held down it means that the court has not finished addressing it. The court will come back to your case at some point later that day. You must not leave the courthouse if your case is being held down. You must return to the courtroom that day to finish it or adjourn your case to the next court date.

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The Highway Traffic Act includes Ontario’s laws related to traffic, highways, and other issues related to transportation.

Title: holiday pay
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In most jobs, people get public holidays off with holiday pay. To figure out your holiday pay:

  • add up your earnings, which are your regular wages plus vacation pay, for the 4 work weeks before the work week with the holiday in it
  • divide that total by 20
Title: home study
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A home study is an assessment written by an adoption worker that says whether an individual, or a couple, will be suitable to parent an adopted child. The report has many details about the adoptive parents. For example, their values, beliefs, personalities, experience with children and adoption, education, and work experience. It also says what type of child the worker thinks is suitable for the parents.

The home study has to be current. This means it has to be updated whenever there is an important change. For example, if an adoptive parent changes their job or is diagnosed with a serious disease.

Title: homeworker
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Under the Employment Standards Act, homeworkers are employees who do work out of their own homes for an employer. Examples of homework are sewing, stuffing envelopes, online research, answering calls for a call centre, and telemarketing.

Title: house arrest
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House arrest is a type of sentence that you might get if you’re convicted of a crime, or as a condition of your bail. This means you usually can’t leave your house, except for emergencies or if the court has ordered exceptions, for example, for you to go to work or school.

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The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the Tribunal) decides if your human rights have been violated. If you think your rights under the Code have been violated, you can file an application directly with the Tribunal. The Tribunal will decide the best way to deal with your situation. The Tribunal might also decide that your rights have not been violated or that they do not have the power to deal with your case.

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