What is discrimination?
Discrimination means unequal or different treatment or harassment that causes harm. The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial anti-discrimination law that
applies to workplaces, housing, services, facilities, and to contracts or agreements.
In most cases the Code only applies to discrimination that happened in Ontario.
If you want to take legal steps to address an incident of discrimination, the deadline
to do so is generally one year from the last discriminatory event or conduct.
People have the right to equal treatment and opportunities, without discrimination
or harassment, in the areas covered by the Code. Not all unfair treatment
and not all harassment is covered by the Human Rights Code. The treatment
or harassment must have been based on a ground and in an area covered
by the Code.
The areas covered by the Code are:
The grounds are:
- Place of origin
- Ethnic origin
- Creed (religion)
- Receipt of social assistance (housing only)
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Family status
- Record of offenses (employment only, must have been pardoned)
- Sex (includes being pregnant, sexual harassment)
- Gender identity
- Gender expression
There are exceptions to some of the rules in the Code. For example the minimum ages for driving, working and voting.