Human Rights Violation: What Type of Lawyer Is The Best For The Job?
A human rights lawyer is different from an employment lawyer in various ways, although a human rights lawyer and an employment lawyer can be one and the same. The best way to understand the difference is to determine what each lawyer does individually and the ways their roles intersect in different cases of human rights violations.
Human Rights Violations: What Does A Human Rights Lawyer Do?
Human rights lawyers are concerned with human dignity, civil rights and equality. They deal mainly with the violation of their clients’ inherent dignity, like discrimination and harassment. For example, if you believe you are experiencing discrimination based on your age, race, disability, or sexual orientation and gender identity, you should consult a human rights lawyer. Or, if you believe you were or are being sexually harassed in any context, retaining a human rights lawyer would be the right course of action. Human rights lawyers also fight to protect vulnerable individuals and groups such as refugees, the LGBTQ2+ community, and indigenous peoples.
Human rights lawyers in Ontario litigates violations under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) and the Canadian Human Rights Act (the “Act”). These lawyers can appear before human rights tribunals, which in include, Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or the Canadian Human rights commission depending on whether the client they represent experiences a violation under the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Human Rights Violations: What Does An Employment Lawyer Do?
Employment lawyers help employers and employees by providing advice on employment agreements, wrongful dismissal, workplace-related incidents and other employment law issues. The most common reason an employee would retain an employment lawyer is for a wrongful dismissal claim. In such a case, the employment lawyer would advise the employee of their rights under the employment agreement and the relevant employment law statute and inform them of their best course of action. Usually, the lawyer would negotiate with the employee’s former employer to secure a suitable termination package; If negotiations fail, the employment lawyer assists by litigating the matter in civil court (see previous article “Experienced Employment Lawyers: When Negotiations No Longer Work“). Ontario’s relevant employment law statute is the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000.
What Are Similarities Of Human Rights Lawyers And Employment Lawyers?
An employment lawyer can also be a human rights lawyer as, in many instances, employees experience human rights violations on the job. Issues such as discrimination based on age, race and sex are prominent issues faced in the workplace daily. These issues can sometimes be the basis of a wrongful dismissal claim. Here is where human rights and employment law intersect. In such cases, the employment lawyer acts as a human rights lawyer by advising the employee of their rights under the relevant human rights code. Instead of a basic wrongful dismissal claim, the employment lawyer would begin incorporating the human rights violation into the claim and requesting that the court award general damages for the human rights violation and damages for wrongful dismissal.
We see that human rights and employment lawyers have roles and focus that is not always the same, yet your employment lawyer can act as a human rights lawyer if you face human rights issues in the workplace.
If you have experienced a violation of your human rights, whether in the workplace or not, call Achkar Law to speak with an experienced employment and human rights lawyer.
Whether you are an employer or an employee looking for assistance with human rights violations, workplace issues or employment relationships, our skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced wrongful dismissal lawyers can advocate on behalf of businesses and employees at Achkar Law can help.