TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 11, 2014) – The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has issued a statement regarding a recruitment program run by the federal government, in the wake of data pointing to the systemic exclusion of hiring women. The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), administered by the federal government, brings more than 18,000 seasonal agriculture workers to Ontario annually – almost exclusively men.
On Wednesday, the OHRC issued a position statement on discrimination on the basis of sex in recruitment for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program; warning that gender discrimination was a human rights violation. “Migrant workers are protected by many of the same laws that protect other workers in Ontario, including the Ontario Human Rights Code,” wrote the OHRC in its December 10 statement. “This means that employers cannot refuse to hire a person because of their sex or other Code-protected grounds and that they cannot include discriminatory preferences in the hiring process. The protection against discrimination in employment extends to all aspects of the employment relationship: recruitment and selection processes, terms of employment, and the termination of the employment.”