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Human Rights

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination means unequal or different treatment or harassment that causes harm. The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law that protects you from discrimination and 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.

Discrimination is when someone treats you unfairly because of who you are.  Landlords, employers and others cannot discriminate against you.

Some of the areas covered by the Code are:

  • Employment;
  • Housing;
  • Services, goods and facilities.

Some of the Grounds are:

  • Race
  • Colour
  • Ancestry
  • Place of origin
  • Citizenship
  • 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)
  • Age
  • Disability
  • 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.

If you feel you have been discriminated against, please contact us.