Model Bargaining Language to Support LGBTQ2SIA+ Rights in the Workplace


Gender neutral language

The Parties to this Collective Agreement agree that the Collective Agreement shall be written in gender neutral language.



The Employer and Union agree that there shall be no discrimination against employees with respect to terms and conditions of employment because of race, ancestry, place of origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religious belief, colour, ethnic origin, mother tongue, marital status, family status, political affiliation or belief, citizenship, sexual orientation, disability, age, or record of offences, as those terms are defined in the Ontario Human Rights Code (if applicable), subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code provisions related to bona fide occupational qualification.



The Employer will provide an environment where employees are not subjected to sexual violence and sexual harassment. Employees will not engage in sexual violence and sexual harassment. In assessing whether sexual violence or sexual harassment may have occurred, the definitions and standards set out in the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Employer’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, as they exist from time to time, although they do not form part of the Collective Agreement, shall be considered, including by an arbitrator in any arbitration pursuant to this section.

For clarity, sexual violence and sexual harassment is defined as any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, and sexual exploitation.

The current Ontario Human Rights Code provides that “[e]very person who is an employee has a right to freedom from harassment in the workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression by his or her employer or agent of the employer or by another employee.” The current Ontario Human Rights Code defines harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Sexual harassment also includes a reprisal or a threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance, where the reprisal is made or threatened by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person.”


Transitioning language

General Transition Policy

The union and (employer name) agree to the following general transition policy to cover transgender workers at work. (Employer name) and the union will make every effort to protect the privacy and safety of transitioning workers during and post-transition.

Upon request by a worker, (employer name) will update all worker records and directories to reflect the worker’s name and gender change and ensure that all workplace-related documents are also amended. This may include name tags, work identification, email addresses, organizational charts, health-care coverage and schedules. No records of the worker’s previous name, sex or transition will be maintained post-transition unless required by law.

(Employer name) will provide safe washroom and changeroom facilities to a worker during and after transition. (Employer name) and the union recognize that a transitioning worker has the right to use the washroom of their lived gender, regardless of whether or not they have sought or completed surgeries.

Health-care benefit coverage for transition-related costs, and medical leaves of absence for transitioning workers will be provided/accommodated on the same terms as any other medical cost or leave.

(Insert any other policies applicable to transitioning workers in the workplace – e.g., gender-specific positions, dress codes.)

Upon notification by a worker wishing to transition, or at the request of the union, (employer name)will work with the union and the worker to tailor the general transition plan to the worker’s needs.”

Group Benefit Plan

The Employer will put in place a group benefit plan with coverage for the costs of gender affirming health care procedures and surgeries not covered by provincial health plans. In addition, the Employer will include coverage for any transition-related expenses not already covered under the benefit plan (for example: wigs, electrolysis, breast prosthesis, hormone therapy, silicone/saline implants, special bras for prosthesis, voice classes, counselling, medical-related travel expenses, etc.)

Transition Leave

The employer will grant a worker up to ____ weeks of leave with pay.

An employee who provides a certificate from a medical practitioner confirming that the employee requires a leave of absence in order to undergo the medical procedure(s) related to a physical change from one gender to another shall be granted up to two (2) months of paid gender reassignment surgery leave at the regular rate of pay during the period of their appointment.

Gender Neutral Washrooms

The employer shall make every effort to have gender neutral washrooms in every building. Furthermore, any new construction project plans shall include gender neutral washrooms.


The employer shall provide health care benefits that include coverage for fertility treatments, including, but not limited to, IUI, IVF, plus unlimited prescription fertility drugs.

The employer will provide reimbursement of up to XXXX for costs related to assisted reproductive technology, adoption, surrogacy and other family expansion measures.


Ensure that the collective agreement and pension plan text clearly cover same-sex partners as surviving spouses.

Leave language

The employer shall grant up to 100 hours of paid leave for employees accessing assisted reproductive procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, diagnostic and treatment procedures, IUI, IVF, and surrogacy. This leave is available to those employees accessing assisted reproductive procedures or those who are supporting another person undergoing fertility treatment. This leave shall not be unreasonably denied.

Adoption leave

The employer shall grant up to 100 hours of paid leave for employees who are pursuing foster care or adoption.

An employee who is the adoptive parent of a child shall be entitled to paid leave equivalent to leave provided for pregnancy and parental leave.


The Employer will grant up to five (5) days of paid leave in the event of the death of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner or same-sex partner, children (including step-children), grandchildren, parents, parents-in-law, sibling (including step-brother, step-sister), brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and grandparents, or for the death of a person whose relationship is not defined above, the impact of which is comparable to that of the immediate family (e.g. a close friend).

Training on equity issues

The Employer and the Union will develop and deliver annual training for employees on equity issues and anti-harassment and anti-violence training. All expenses will be borne by the employer.