Human Rights Law

People in every province and territory in Canada have human rights laws to protect them from discrimination.

But not all discrimination is illegal.  Only “prohibited grounds of discrimination” are protected by human rights law.  These prohibited grounds include colour, race, ancestry, sex, disability, and family status.  For example, you can find all the prohibited grounds protected against in employment in BC in section 13 of the Human Rights Code.

All Canadian employees are protected against discrimination in their employment.  An employer isn’t allowed to treat an employee differently than other employees because of a prohibited ground of discrimination.  Employers can’t discriminate on prohibited grounds when they’re interviewing or advertising for positions, either.

Disability is a common ground of discrimination.  If an employee has a disability, the employer must accommodate the employee’s disability and let them to continue work up to the point of the employer experiencing “undue hardship.” This means that an employer has to take reasonable measures to help a disabled employee do their job, even if it’s inconvenient for the employer or costs them money to do it.

People who have been discriminated against can go to human rights tribunals be compensated for for hurt feelings and dignity, and employees who have been fired as a result of discrimination can get their job back.  Human rights tribunals in Canada also have other powers to help ensure that the person or company who has discriminated against won’t do it again in the future.

Human Rights 101: What do I do if I’ve Been Discriminated Against?

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