2. Talk to your union representative

Can my union refuse to accommodate me in another position because someone has more seniority than me?
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2. Talk to your union representative

If you were not accommodated, ask the union to explain why they could not accommodate you. Your union should give you an explanation. 

If you think your union acted unfairly or did not help you for a reason that goes against your human rights, speak with your workplace’s union representative. This might be discrimination.

It is discrimination for your union to make decisions that involve you based only on personal characteristics like your:

  • race, colour, or ethnic background
  • birthplace or citizenship
  • religion
  • age
  • sex or gender
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender identity
  •  gender expression
  • physical or mental disability, including an addiction
  • marital status

Take notes about any discussions you have with your union representative. It's best to make the notes when things happen so that you still remember them well. This is important because, as time passes, people can forget details of events. Emailing the notes to yourself can help to prove the date that you made the notes.

In your notes, you should include as much detail as you can about what happened to you. Try to include:

  • the date, time, and place
  • the names of people who did or said things
  • who saw or heard what happened
  • what you did at the time

And keep copies of any written communications with your union, like emails, letters, and text messages. You can also ask a support person, such as a co-worker, to come with you when you talk to your union representative. That person can be a witness to what happened or what was said.

If your union representative can’t help you, you can contact other staff that work for the union and explain your situation. They might be able to help you. For example, they might talk to your union representative for you.

You might want to get legal advice before speaking to your union representative. You can contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for free legal advice and information.  

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Ontario Human Rights Commission
Reviewed: June 11, 2018

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