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Bona Fide Occupational Requirement

When an Occupational Requirement is Reasonable and Justifiable

There may be situations where an employee was treated differently than others based on a ground protected by human rights legislation (such as age, sex, race, religion, or disability), but it would not constitute a breach of human rights legislation. In other words, some discrimination might be permissible when a particular discriminatory standard is a necessary requirement of the job, or when that occupational requirement is reasonable and justifiable. This is called a bona fide occupational requirement.

For example, it may be a bona fide occupational requirement to require that truck drivers not be legally blind, even though this is a disability (a protected ground) under human rights legislation.

We can advise both employers and employees on what are reasonable and justifiable occupational requirements versus what standards/requirements are likely to breach human rights legislation.


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