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Know Your Human Rights!

Every new immigrant to Canada should know their rights, especially their human rights. In Canada, human rights are protected by federal, provincial and territorial laws.

The following eleven grounds of discrimination are protected under the law:

  • race
  • national or ethnic origin
  • colour
  • religion
  • age
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marital status
  • family status
  • disability
  • a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended.

There are many ways that a person may be discriminated against. Some specific examples of discrimination include, but are not limited to:

  • A bank has lending rules that make it unreasonably difficult for new immigrants to get loans.
  • A person is systematically referred to secondary screening at airports due to the colour of their skin.
  • An employer pays employees differently when they are doing work of the same value due to their sex.
  • An employer assigns her employees to weekend shifts without recognizing that some employees observe the Sabbath and cannot work on those days.
  • A female employee with an excellent performance record announces that she is pregnant. Immediately, her employer begins to identify performance issues that lead to her dismissal.
  • A policy provides benefits to some married couples but not to others.
  • After having a child, a woman cannot find childcare to continue working overnight shifts, and her employer does not allow flexibility by scheduling her on day shifts.
  • An employer refuses to employ or continue to employ someone, or treats them unfairly in the workplace because of their nationality.
  • A person is denied a job because of a previous conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record has been suspended.

Note that harassment is a common discriminatory practice. It refers to comments or actions that are unwelcome. Every person has the right to be free from humiliating or annoying behaviour.

If you think you have been a victim of one or more of the eleven grounds of discrimination, contact us today.


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