Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)

Act current to 2016-04-12 and last amended on 2014-11-01. Previous Versions

Canadian Human Rights Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6

An Act to extend the laws in Canada that proscribe discrimination

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canadian Human Rights Act.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 1.

Purpose of Act

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to extend the laws in Canada to give effect, within the purview of matters coming within the legislative authority of Parliament, to the principle that all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have and to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations as members of society, without being hindered in or prevented from doing so by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 2;
  • 1996, c. 14, s. 1;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 9;
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 137(E).

PART IProscribed Discrimination

General

Marginal note:Prohibited grounds of discrimination
  •  (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Where the ground of discrimination is pregnancy or child-birth, the discrimination shall be deemed to be on the ground of sex.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 3;
  • 1996, c. 14, s. 2;
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 138(E).
Marginal note:Multiple grounds of discrimination

 For greater certainty, a discriminatory practice includes a practice based on one or more prohibited grounds of discrimination or on the effect of a combination of prohibited grounds.

  • 1998, c. 9, s. 11.
Marginal note:Orders regarding discriminatory practices

 A discriminatory practice, as described in sections 5 to 14.1, may be the subject of a complaint under Part III and anyone found to be engaging or to have engaged in a discriminatory practice may be made subject to an order as provided in section 53.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 4;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 11;
  • 2013, c. 37, s. 1.

Discriminatory Practices

Marginal note:Denial of good, service, facility or accommodation

 It is a discriminatory practice in the provision of goods, services, facilities or accommodation customarily available to the general public

  • (a) to deny, or to deny access to, any such good, service, facility or accommodation to any individual, or

  • (b) to differentiate adversely in relation to any individual,

on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 5.
Marginal note:Denial of commercial premises or residential accommodation

 It is a discriminatory practice in the provision of commercial premises or residential accommodation

  • (a) to deny occupancy of such premises or accommodation to any individual, or

  • (b) to differentiate adversely in relation to any individual,

on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 6.
Marginal note:Employment

 It is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly,

  • (a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or

  • (b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee,

on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 7;
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 143, s. 3(F).
Marginal note:Employment applications, advertisements

 It is a discriminatory practice

  • (a) to use or circulate any form of application for employment, or

  • (b) in connection with employment or prospective employment, to publish any advertisement or to make any written or oral inquiry

that expresses or implies any limitation, specification or preference based on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 8.
Marginal note:Employee organizations
  •  (1) It is a discriminatory practice for an employee organization on a prohibited ground of discrimination

    • (a) to exclude an individual from full membership in the organization;

    • (b) to expel or suspend a member of the organization; or

    • (c) to limit, segregate, classify or otherwise act in relation to an individual in a way that would deprive the individual of employment opportunities, or limit employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status of the individual, where the individual is a member of the organization or where any of the obligations of the organization pursuant to a collective agreement relate to the individual.

  • (2) [Repealed, 2011, c. 24, s. 165]

  • (3) [Repealed, 1998, c. 9, s. 12]

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 9;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 12;
  • 2011, c. 24, s. 165.
Marginal note:Discriminatory policy or practice

 It is a discriminatory practice for an employer, employee organization or employer organization

  • (a) to establish or pursue a policy or practice, or

  • (b) to enter into an agreement affecting recruitment, referral, hiring, promotion, training, apprenticeship, transfer or any other matter relating to employment or prospective employment,

that deprives or tends to deprive an individual or class of individuals of any employment opportunities on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 10;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 13(E).
Marginal note:Equal wages
  •  (1) It is a discriminatory practice for an employer to establish or maintain differences in wages between male and female employees employed in the same establishment who are performing work of equal value.

  • Marginal note:Assessment of value of work

    (2) In assessing the value of work performed by employees employed in the same establishment, the criterion to be applied is the composite of the skill, effort and responsibility required in the performance of the work and the conditions under which the work is performed.

  • Marginal note:Separate establishments

    (3) Separate establishments established or maintained by an employer solely or principally for the purpose of establishing or maintaining differences in wages between male and female employees shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to be the same establishment.

  • Marginal note:Different wages based on prescribed reasonable factors

    (4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), it is not a discriminatory practice to pay to male and female employees different wages if the difference is based on a factor prescribed by guidelines, issued by the Canadian Human Rights Commission pursuant to subsection 27(2), to be a reasonable factor that justifies the difference.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (5) For greater certainty, sex does not constitute a reasonable factor justifying a difference in wages.

  • Marginal note:No reduction of wages

    (6) An employer shall not reduce wages in order to eliminate a discriminatory practice described in this section.

  • Definition of wages

    (7) For the purposes of this section, wages means any form of remuneration payable for work performed by an individual and includes

    • (a) salaries, commissions, vacation pay, dismissal wages and bonuses;

    • (b) reasonable value for board, rent, housing and lodging;

    • (c) payments in kind;

    • (d) employer contributions to pension funds or plans, long-term disability plans and all forms of health insurance plans; and

    • (e) any other advantage received directly or indirectly from the individual’s employer.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 11.
 
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