When you help ensure employment equity, you are increasing the opportunities for all Ontarians to contribute in the workplace.
Everyone, including persons with epilepsy, is entitled to a workplace free from systemic and deliberate barriers that discriminate against them. Unfortunately, people have shown less willingness to hire workers with epilepsy than workers with other disabilities. Too often, employers overlook or deny opportunities to people of merit.
In 1993, Ontario’s Legislative Assembly passed the Employment Equity Act (Bill 79). Since then, all people – including those with disabilities – are entitled to equal treatment in the workplace. The Act protects differently-abled people from discrimination in recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion.
The Act defines a person with a disability as:
- a person who has a persistent physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory or learning impairment and considers that impairment to put him/herself at a disadvantage in employment, or
- someone who believes that an employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged because of that impairment.
Equality and diversity in the workplace are essential to the operation of a successful business in today’s society. It opens the doors to qualified and eligible professionals who may not otherwise be considered for positions because of continuing discrimination.
Many employees and employers are not informed about their rights in specific situations. It is essential that we know our rights and the rights of those around us in the workplace. Only then, when employees and employers are informed, can we ensure the protection of everyone’s rights in the workplace.
IBM is a great example of a company that has committed itself to equal opportunity.
“Our goal is to attract and retain the best people and provide them with the opportunity to achieve their full potential. We are committed to a flexible and equitable work environment that strives to meet the varied needs of all our employees. By effectively harnessing the diversity of our workforce, we believe the ultimate winners will be the customers we serve.” – Khalil E. Barsoum, President and CEO, IBM Canada Ltd.