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2 Canadian Lab. L.J. 1 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/canlemj2 and id is 1 raw text is: UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF
M. David Lepofsky*
Exposing the myths and misconceptions about employment equity is
David Lepofsky's objective in the paper that follows. Lepofsky begins by
explaining what employment equity actually is and how the concept came
about. A brief description of statutorily mandated employment equity
programs follows. The author then deals with three key employment equity
myths and misconceptions. Myth number one is that employment equity
requires affirmative action programs as are commonly found in the United
States. Myth number two is that employment equity undermines the merit
principle Myth number three is that employment equity creates reverse
discrimination In each case Lepofsky debunks the received wisdom
and provides a cogent and principled defence in support of employment
equity legislation and programs.
Lepofsky also considers a number of other issues including employment
equity and the specific needs of different target groups, the relationship
of employment equity to pay equity, human rights and the duty to
accommodate persons with disabilities, and the role of workers and unions
in employment equity programs. The author concludes that employment
equity should be seen as a transitory program, and once designated groups
are more equitably represented in the workplace, the need for such
programs will diminish or disappear
The attention of members of the general public, governments, employers
and job-seekers is now increasingly focused upon the topic of employment
equity. Since this concept was first introduced in Canada in the mid-1980s,
a growing number of government agencies and businesses have taken steps
to implement employment equity policies and programs in the workplace.
* Mr. Lepofsky is counsel with the Constitutional Law and Policy Division of the Ministry
of the Attorney General for Ontario. This article is written in the author's personal capacity,
and does not purport to represent the views of Ontario's Attorney General or the Ministry.

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