Promoting Fair Employment in Ontario:
April 5, 1951
April 5th, 1951 was a big day for human rights in Ontario!
The influence of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human
Rights is manifest in two new laws: The Fair Employment Practices
Act and the Female Employee's Fair Remuneration Act.
The Fair Employment Practices Act has became the model for many
human rights codes to come. It targeted discrimination in hiring practices
and the work place by establishing fines as well as a procedure for complaints.
The Act does have its shortcomings: It doesn't apply to...
- domestics employed in private homes
- non-profit religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal or social
- small businesses with less than 5 employees
The legislature also introduced the Female Employee's Fair Remuneration
Act. It addresses the common practice of paying women - who were
often relegated to " dead-end" jobs - less than their male colleagues.
Simply put, the act seeks to provide women with equal pay for work of
equal value. The problem was not to be solved overnight, yet the act was
a sure step in the right direction.
All in all, April 5th, 1951 turned out to be a glorious day in the development
of human rights.
"Whereas it is contrary to public policy in Ontario to discriminate
against men and women in respect of their employment because of race,
creed, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin whereas it is
desirable to enact a measure designed to promote observance of this principle
and whereas to do so is in accord with the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights as proclaimed by the United Nations."
Preamble to Fair Employment Practices Act
Did you know?
In 1951, the average salary for a female is $1,907. That's just 49.5%
of the average male salary. In 1997, the average earnings by a female
was $21,167 - or 63.8 % of the average male's earnings.
Want To Know More?
Fair Employment Practices Act, 1951 (S.). 1951, c.24)
Female Employee's Fair Remuneration Act S.O.1951, C. 26