March 23, 2001
INJURED WORKERS CALL ON
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FOR PUBLIC HEARINGS!
NEWS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2001
For Immediate Release
INJURED WORKERS CALL ON HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR PUBLIC
The Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups has reacted strongly to the announcement from Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, Keith Norton, that an aggressive campaign to crack down on discrimination against people with disabilities is to be undertaken by the Commission.
"It's good to hear the Human Rights Commission admit that something should have been done long ago about discrimination by employers against people with disabilities. I'm pleased they are talking about action but I agree with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act Committee that this falls far short of addressing the problems that injured workers have faced trying to return to work with permanent disabilities. We want the Human Rights Commission to hold public hearings to find out about the types of problems of discrimination in employment. How can you possibly take the right action if you don't hear first hand from the people with the problems?" said Karl Crevar, President of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG).
"According to the workers' compensation board (WSIB) statistics, today there are more than 270,000 Ontarians with permanent disabilities from workplace injuries. Most wanted to get back to work but found it impossible. If you tell a potential employer that you have a disability from a work injury, you never get hired. If you don't mention it, you live in fear that that you will get further injured doing inappropriate work, or be fired for telling the employer you were not disabled. The WSIB is no help at all for most of these injured workers. There are too many ways to get rid of workers who are injured on the job. Something needs to be done about it and public hearings should be the first step. The public gave up on the Human Rights Commission in the past because it took years to look into a problem. If the Human Rights Commission is willing to take action now, it should invite the public to come forward so they can find out what the problem is." said Carol McGregor, from Injured Workers' Consultants (IWC), a community legal aid clinic that assists injured workers.
"How can we be surprised that only 1 in 10 persons with disabilities are represented in the workforce when employers will only accept those that are 100% able bodied?" asked Crevar. "If the Human Rights Commission is serious in its efforts, then public hearings must be held, " Crevar said. -30-
For more information please call:
Karl Crevar ONIWG
Carol McGregor IWC
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Last updated April 16, 2001 2:15 pm