Affirmative action plans and discrimination risk

Recruiting to increase workplace diversity
By Brian Johnston
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/15/2014

Question: Can actively looking to recruit more individuals with certain characteristics (age, race, disability) to influence the diversity of an employer’s workforce be considered discrimination itself?

Answer: While making any distinction on the basis of certain characteristics may be prima facie discrimination, distinctions made for specific ameliorative purposes are typically deemed non-discriminatory. Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that its protections do not “preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups."