1. Right to equal treatment without discrimination
Section 5 of the Code states:
(1) Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
(2) Every person who is an employee has a right to freedom from harassment in the workplace by the employer or agent of the employer or by another employee because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.
The Code does not define “employment,” but the Commission interprets this word in a broad way. Employment includes full-time and part-time work, contract work, work done by temporary staff from agencies, probationary periods and even includes volunteer work.
The right to “equal treatment with respect to employment” covers every aspect of the workplace environment and employment relationship, including job applications, recruitment, training, transfers, promotions, apprenticeship terms, dismissal and layoffs. It also covers rate of pay, overtime, hours of work, holidays, benefits, shift work, discipline and performance evaluations.
Human rights claims of discrimination and harassment can be made against employers, contractors, unions, and directors or other people in the workplace such as co-workers and supervisors. See Section III-4 – “Legal responsibility for human rights at work for more information on the duties of everyone in the workplace.