Discrimination means any form of unequal treatment based on a ground listed in the Ontario Human Rights Code ground. Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional. It may involve direct actions that are discriminatory on their face, or it may involve rules, practices or procedures that appear neutral, but have the effect of disadvantaging certain groups of people ("systemic").
The Ontario Human Rights Code applies to work, housing and services that are governed by provincial law and is intended to ensure the dignity and worth of each person, a climate of respect and mutual understanding, full participation in society and equal rights and opportunities.
Western’s harassment and discrimination policies are in accordance with the Human Rights Code.
The grounds protected from discrimination and/or harassment are:
- Creed (religion)
- Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity and Gender Expression
- Family status
- Marital status (including the status of being married, single, widowed, divorced, separated, or living in a conjugal relationship outside of marriage, whether in a same sex or opposite sex relationship)
- Disability (including mental, physical, developmental or learning disabilities)
- Place of origin
- Ethnic origin
- Record of offences (criminal conviction for a provincial offence, or for an offence for which a pardon has been received)
- Association or relationship with a person identified by one of the above grounds
- Perception that one of the above grounds applies.