Most employers are familiar with the prohibitions against discrimination that exist in human rights legislation throughout Canada. At the centre of the legislative web are protections for employees with disabilities which includes the right to equal treatment in employment.
But what about employees who do not suffer from disabling conditions and are simply predisposed to serious, or life-threatening, conditions? Where do they fit into the legal framework? What protections, if any, do they have in the workplace? What rights, if any, do employers have to know about their genetic vulnerabilities? In short, how do genetic markers and family medical history impact the employment relationship?
These are questions that our human rights laws will be forced to grapple with, and the outcome of ongoing debate about “genetic discrimination” is likely to impact employers across the country. While hard and fast answers for are not yet entirely clear, employers should be aware of the differing viewpoints and potential ramifications.
Continue Reading It’s All in the Genes: Genetic Discrimination in the Canadian Workplace