I’m an independent contractor with a disability. Do I have rights at work?

Ontario’s human rights laws say that everyone has the right to be treated equally and not be discriminated against at work for personal differences listed in the Human Rights Code.

These laws protect employees, independent contractors, and volunteers at work. You’re protected:

  • during the negotiation and the offer of a contract to perform work,
  • when you accept the contract,
  • in the terms of the contract,
  • while you’re working under the contract, and
  • in how that contract ends

You’re protected from discrimination even if you have a verbal, unwritten contract to perform work.

These rights mean that, if you’re an independent contractor and you have a , the company or organization you work for must do what they can to make things fair for you. The legal word for this is “”.

Accommodation could mean the workplace doing things differently for you so that you’re treated equally. Some people also call this “removing barriers” that discriminate against you in a way that goes against your human rights.

Examples of accommodation

The workplace might have to:

  • modify or change your work area because you have an injury
  • adjust a deadline while you recover from an injury, get treatment, or care for your child
  • change your job duties to ones that you’re able to do

These are all just examples. Accommodation can be different for different people. In each case, it depends on what you need.

If you need accommodation because of your disability, ask for it. The workplace has to try to make things fair for you.

And you must co-operate with the workplace to find solutions and agree on what is reasonable for them to do. Accommodation does not have to be exactly what you asked for, but it does have to be appropriate.

The workplace does not have to do things that they can prove will cause them .

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