Human Rights

Each of us have certain rights, simply by virtue of being human.  Human rights legislation provides protection, procedures and remedies for those who have experienced discrimination. Because these protections flow from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, human rights legislation is considered “quasi-constitutional”.  This important legislation also often influences other pieces of legislation.

When a workplace human rights issue arises, the first step is to confirm whether the workplace is provincially or federally regulated. The summary on this website is based on the British Columbia Human Rights Code (HRC).  If the workplace is in Alberta, or is federally regulated, the regime will have many similarities, but will not be exactly the same.

Should your case involve a human rights issue, contact a lawyer promptly, because short limitation dates apply, particularly if provincial legislation applies.  Under B.C. provincial legislation, the time period within which a complaint must be commenced (the limitation period) is only 6 months. The limitation period under federal legislation is 1 year, which is also the limitation period under Alberta legislation.

Human rights legislation is administered by a human rights tribunal in each area of jurisdiction. Provincial human rights legislation applies to provincially regulated employers, the provincial government itself, provincial crown corporations, unions, professional associations, and tenants in landlord-tenant matters.

The “protected grounds“, or the group characteristics that are protected from discrimination in employment vary depending on the applicable legislation.  See also bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR).