What areas of my life are protected from discrimination?

There are certain areas of daily life where the Human Rights Code protects you from harmful treatment.

  • Employment

    See this provincial government’s video in American Sign Language about protection in employment.

    The Code protects against discrimination in how jobs are advertised, how workers are hired, how workers are paid and how workers are treated at work.

    Examples of harmful treatment in employment are:

    • Not being offered a job because you are Black
    • Not getting paid fairly because women are usually paid less in your office than men doing similar work
    • Not getting a promotion because you just got married
    • Being disciplined because your religious clothing doesn’t meet the dress code
    • Being denied benefits because you are in a same sex relationship
    • Not being allowed to return to work because you’ve been on leave for a mental illness
    • Being bullied or harassed at work because you are transitioning
    • Feeling unsafe at work because discrimination is ongoing and widespread
    • Getting fired because you have been off work with a medical problem
  • Housing

    The Code protects against discrimination in how property is rented and purchased.

    Examples of harmful treatment in housing are:

    • A landlord refusing to rent his laneway house to you because you have children
    • Not being able to access affordable housing because all social housing in town is two-bedroom units and your parents and three children live with you
    • A no-pets rule in your condo being applied to your service dog
    • Being bullied or harassed in your apartment building because you are an immigrant
    • Getting evicted because you are on social assistance
  • Services

    The Code protects against discrimination in access to services, facilities, and accommodations in B.C. This includes hotels, stores, restaurants, schools, libraries, campgrounds and government and community programs.

    Examples of harmful treatment in services are:

    • Being refused entry to a restaurant because you are using a wheelchair
    • Being stopped by police for crossing the street unsafely because as an Indigenous person you are more likely to be singled out for a minor mistake
    • Being removed from volunteer training because you are transgender
    • Being bullied in a sports league because you identify as gender fluid
    • Being asked to meet additional conditions to get into a community program because you have a seizure disorder
  • Membership in unions and associations

    The Code protects against discrimination for people who are or who want to be members of trade unions, employers’ organizations, and occupational associations.

    Examples of harmful treatment in a union or association are:

    • Being denied membership because you turned 65
    • Having membership suspended because you were charged with a crime
    • Being removed because you attended a residential treatment program for a substance use disorder
  • Publications

    Publications include things like a public sign, a notice, a flyer, or an article. Publications can also mean things not in writing, such as a speech, a picture, or a video. Communications that are meant to be private are not covered.

    The Code protects you from discrimination in publications and from hate speech.


What parts of my identity are protected from discrimination?

The Human Rights Code protects certain parts of your identity from harmful treatment called discrimination. Sometimes these are called “protected characteristics” or “grounds of discrimination.”


How can I tell if I’ve experienced discrimination?

If you experience harm in one of the areas based on one or more parts of your identity, you may have experienced discrimination.

See this provincial government video in American Sign Language about discrimination.

It might be more complicated though. Here are some additional questions to think about.