3. Talk to your union if you have one

Can my employer tell me what to wear at work?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
1
2
3
4
5

3. Talk to your union if you have one

If you have a union at work and if you think your employer is discriminating against you, talk to your union about the discrimination. Tell them why you think you are being discriminated against and how you would like to be accommodated.

Your union and your employer are both responsible for accommodation.

Your union must usually try to get the employer to accommodate you so you can either do your job or a similar job. The union doesn’t have to ask the employer for the exact accommodation that you want.

The union owes you a "duty of fair representation." This means that when your union is helping you with your negotiations about accommodation or your grievances, your union can’t discriminate, act arbitrarily, or act in bad faith.

Your union must:

  • listen to you and talk to you about the problem you’re having
  • think about what you want
  • make an honest and fair decision about what to do, and tell you how they made that decision 

The union has the right to decide what steps they will take when you have a problem with your employer. And, unless the collective agreement says it is your decision, the union can also decide:

  • how far they will go with the complaint process
  • what they will agree to with the employer

Sometimes a union chooses not to make a human rights complaint through the grievance process. If your union decides not to file a grievance because they don’t think you have a strong case, this is not discrimination. In this situation you may still file a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, but your union will not represent you in this.

But, if your union acted unfairly or did not help you because of a personal characteristic you have that is listed in the Human Rights Code, then it’s possible your union did not meet their duty to fairly represent you. This might be discrimination.  

You May Also Need

Reviewed: June 11, 2018

Parlez Français