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You have shopping rights

The Christmas season is upon us and it is as good a time as any to talk about your rights when you are attempting to access goods, facilities and services.

Service providers should not alter the terms or deny someone a service or access to a service based on their sex, marital status, race, ethnicity, origin (including geographic origin), disability or religion. Denying someone a service based on the above is discriminatory and in contravention of the Equal Opportunity Act.

To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/12/20/you-have-shopping-rights/

Human Rights Day 2021

The world is battling with a pandemic. The only way to navigate this period and build a better society is to do it together. It is critical that we treat each other with dignity and respect and, above all, kindness. No group or sector has gone unscathed and it is a sobering reminder that this is a defining moment in history that will put our humanity to the test. Based on our experiences so far, in terms of how we have reacted and treated our fellow citizens, what grade do you think we would receive? Are we passing or are we failing?

To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/12/13/human-rights-day-2021

EOC News Issue 8

The EOC's webinar presentation was the marquee attraction at the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) 2021. The webinar on Know Your Rights: Employment Discrimination, registered the most attendees at this year's convention. The webinar, which took place on Wednesday 3rd November 2021, created an avenue for attendees to learn about the mandate of the EOC and have their questions answered on workplace discrimination and other relevant topics.

Workplace vaccination: What the Equal Opportunity Act says

COVID19 has undeniably created unique and challenging circumstances for both employers and employees, as well as an avenue for unwanted discrimination in the workplace. Despite these unprecedented circumstances, employers are under a legal obligation to ensure that any decision made in response to covid19 does not discriminate against employees pursuant to the Equal Opportunity Act, Chap 22:03 (the act).

To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/15/workplace-vaccination

EOC News Issue 7

A grievance procedure is an orderly system for reporting and processing complaints. The procedure should contain an investigation and appeal mechanism that allows parties who are not satisfied to appeal against the results of investigations to the authorities.

Offensive behaviour is covered in the act

Imagine the following scenario:

You are doing your job and in doing so, you upset a well-known authority figure. This person then posts racist remarks about you on their social media page. This results in many of the authority figure’s followers posting negative comments about you. What will you do? What can you do? The racist remarks are not tied to a category that is covered under the Equal Opportunity Act (the Act): these are education, employment, provision of goods and services and provision of accommodation. However, the good news is that the Act makes provisions for persons to lodge a complaint under the category, “Offensive Behaviour”.

To read more visit: https://newsday.co.tt/2021/11/09/offensive-behaviour-is-covered-in-the-act/

Annual Report 2019

The Commission has continued its good work in 2019 in a climate of financial constraints and limited resources. These constraints have had a significant impact on our ability to deliver on our statutory function, to work towards the elimination of discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different status.

Annual Report 2018

Over the past year, sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace have been a focus of national and international attention largely because of the impact of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. These two events led to a global debate about fairness, equality and the treatment of women in the workplace. The 2018 theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, focused on empowering persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

Annual Report 2016

The year 2016 saw the Commission assuming a greater role in raising awareness of its statutory obligations both to remove clearly defined forms of discrimination and to intercede in instances in which such discrimination was found to be present.

Annual Report 2015

The highlight of fiscal year 2015/ 2016 for the EOC was the conduct of our strategic planning exercise to take the work of the Commission down to the year 2018. We felt a 3-year plan would provide continuity after the end of the term of the current board in 2017.