- You have a number of extra-curricular activities listed on your resume. Are there any associations to which you belong?
This is an inappropriate question to ask because pursuant to article 6 of Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to membership in any association without discrimination; and pursuant to article 12 of the same, right to freedom from discrimination is infringed where the discrimination is because of relationship, association or dealings with a person or persons which can be interpreted as groups or associations too (OHRC, 2008). As we are in the recruitment process to find a qualified customer service representative, finding out which associations candidates belong to would not be an essential measurement for us.
2. Tell me about a time you were overwhelmed with work and missed a deadline. What was the outcome of that situation?
This is an appropriate question to ask in an interview, especially considering that we are hiring for a customer service representative position. This question is aimed to check the candidate’s ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines or heavy workloads and listen to how they handle this type of situation.
3. Why did you leave/are you leaving your last position?
This is a tricky, but appropriate, question to ask. This question is asked to see whether or not the candidate is badmouthing a previous job or employer or he can leave situations on good terms with others. There is no legal ground prohibiting to ask this question.
4. In what year did you graduate high school?
This is considered an inappropriate question to ask because candidates’ year of graduation from high school would be an indication of their age and as per the article 5 of Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of their age (OHRC, 2008).
5. Are you planning to take any classes, or are you completing any other certification or designation that will assist you in your career growth?
This is an appropriate question to ask. Employers should know about the candidate’s further study plan so that they can decide if the candidate is motivated to stay with the company or he/she only considers the job as a stepping-stone to end up working for other companies. Plus, if the candidate is hired, by understanding his/her career growth plan, employers can provide their employees with suitable training and supports.
6. Do you have arrangements made for the care of your child while you are at work?
This is an inappropriate question to ask because as per article 5 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of their family status (OHRC, 2008). Employers have a legal duty to accommodate employees’ needs arising from their family status-related situations.
7. Have you ever been convicted of an offense?
This is an appropriate question to ask as long as we are curious about the candidate’s “conviction” record knowing that a person is considered innocent unless they are “convicted” of a crime/offense. We should be aware that according to article 5 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of their record of offenses; therefore, it would be much better if we specify a crime/offense rather than saying “an offense”, and make sure that such crime/offense is reasonably related to the job/position we are hiring.
8. Can you provide me with an example of a time you didn’t get along with a manager or colleague? What happened?
This is an appropriate question to ask. This question is relevant to the hiring decision because it shows whether the candidate is able to maintain a good relationship with managers and coworkers, it is also for employers to see if the candidate’s attitude and personality match with the company’s value.
9. So your last name is Hernandez? Where does that name originate?
This question is inappropriate to ask because it is stated in article 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, national or ethnic origin falls on the prohibited grounds of discrimination and asking this question could be considered an act of judging the candidate based on his/her ethnic background. Besides this question is irrelevant to the qualifications and required skills for the job anyway (CHRA, 2019).
10. Is there anything else you’d like to discuss at this point?
This question is an appropriate one. It is for the benefit of the candidate as it suggests that the candidate could choose to comfortably disclose information that might not have been asked by the interviewer or previously mentioned in the resume. In fact, it is an opportunity for the candidate to make a favourable impression on the interviewer.
We would tell the recruitment team that there is a concern from the President that our premises are not accessible for persons with disabilities. We are hiring for a factory production staff, and certain tasks and responsibilities of this job could be reasonably non-suitable or not possible for a person with a disability to perform. If so, we would be legally allowed to choose not to hire persons with disabilities; because, although discrimination based on disability is illegal under the law, there is a time when a discriminatory employment requirement is valid if it is reasonably necessary for the performance of a job. This type of requirements is called under the law “bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR)” where the article 24 of Ontario Human Rights Code states that equal treatment with respect to employment is not infringed where the qualification is a reasonable and bona fide qualification because of the nature of the employment. We would suggest our recruitment team to accommodate a BFOR in the job description, if and only such requirement is (i) rationally connected to performing the job; and (ii) necessary to fulfill a legitimate work-related purpose. We may need to show that it is impossible to accommodate a person with a disability without imposing an undue hardship upon our company (OHRC, 2017)
That being said, we would also add, being aware of the article 10 of the Employment Equity Act where it is indicated that the employer shall provide reasonable accommodation to correct under-representation of persons with disabilities, our company is working closely on facilitating our premises to become accessible for everyone and adjusting our workplace to provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities soon (Employment Equity Act, 2019).
Canadian Human Right Act. (2019). Retrieved October 1, 2019 from https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-6/
Employment Equity Act. (2019). Retrieved October 1, 2019 from https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-5.401/FullText.html
Labour Relations Act. (2019). Retrieved September 24, 2019 from https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/95l01
OHRC. (2017). Discrimination based on disability and the duty to accommodate: Information for employers. Retrieved September 24, 2019 from http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/discrimination-based-disability-and-duty-accommodate-information-employers#_edn4
OHRC. (2008). Human Rights at Work 2008 – Third Edition – Ontario Human Rights Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2019 from http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/discrimination-based-disability-and-duty-accommodate-information-employers#_edn4
OHRC. (2008). Human Rights at Work 2008 – Third Edition – Setting job requirements. Retrieved September 24, 2019 from http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/iv-human-rights-issues-all-stages-employment/2-setting-job-requirements
Ontario Human Rights Code. (2019). Retrieved September 24, 2019 from https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h19