IMPORTANT NOTICE

This is an abridged version of the Human Rights Code, containing only the sections which describe prohibited conduct. While every effort has been made to incorporate the latest amendments, this document should not be considered authoritative. If you feel you have grounds for an action under the Human Rights Code, please consult your lawyer.

This text incorporates amendments made by Bill 21, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Code, Second Session, 43rd General Assembly, 46 Elizabeth II, 1997. Bill 21 extends the Code to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.


Human Rights Code

R.S.N. 1990, Ch. H-14

An Act Respecting the Protection of Human Rights.

1. This Act may be cited as the Human Rights Code.

2. [Definitions]

3. The prohibitions contained in this Act apply to and bind the Crown and every agency of the Crown.

4. (1) The purpose and intent of this Act is to regulate matters within the competence of the Legislature of the province and nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect or regulate a matter which is not subject to the legislative authority of the Legislature.

(2) This Act shall be construed and interpreted so as to ensure that the provisions of it shall not prejudicially affect a right or privilege with respect to denominational schools, common or amalgamated schools, or denominational colleges, that a class of persons had by law in the province at the date of Union of Newfoundland with Canada, or rights or privileges afterwards by law acquired by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland.

(3) A statute or law or agreement now or afterward enacted or made by which preference is given, or agreed to be given, to

(a) workers whose place of residence or usual place of residence, or ordinary place of residence, is the province; and

(b) material, equipment or other thing produced, originating, manufactured or distributed and serviced in the province

shall have full effect notwithstanding this Act, and nothing in this Act shall be construed as

(c) restricting the effect of a statute or law or agreement now or afterward enacted or made; or

(d) preventing the enactment or making afterward of a statute or law or agreement

respecting the giving of that preference.

5. This Act shall take precedence over other statutes where other statutes conflict with this Act whether enacted before or after October 1, 1988.

5.1 A provision of this Act shall not apply to the expression of a limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference based on a prohibited ground of discrimination in a pension plan where that discrimination is the result of compliance with a requirement for registration of that plan under the Income Tax Act (Canada).

6. (1) A person shall not deny to or discriminate against a person or class of persons with respect to accommodation, services, facilities or goods to which members of the public customarily have access or which are customarily offered to the public because of the race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability of that person or class of persons.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1),a limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference because of physical disability or mental disability shall be permitted if that limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference is based upon a good faith qualification.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply

(a) to accommodation in a private residence;

(b) to the exclusion of a person because of that person's sex from accommodation, services or facilities upon the ground of public decency;

(c) to accommodation where sex is a reasonable criterion for admission to the accommodation;

(d) to a restriction on membership on the basis of a prohibited grounds of discrimination, in a religious, philanthropic, educational, fraternal, sororal or social organization that is primarily engaged in serving the interests of a group of persons identified by that prohibited ground of discrimination; or

(e) to other situations where a good faith reason exists for the denial of or discrimination with respect to accommodation, services, facilities or goods.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3)(a), subsection (1) shall apply to a private residence that offers a bed and breakfast accommodation for pay.

(5) For the purposes of this section "accommodation, services, facilities or goods to which members of the public customarily have access or which are customarily offered to the public" shall include accommodation, services, facilities or goods which are restricted to a certain segment of the public.

7. (1) A person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself or by the interposition of another, shall not

(a) deny to a person or class of persons occupancy of a commercial unit or self-contained dwelling unit; or

(b) discriminate against a person or class of persons with respect to a term or condition of occupancy of a commercial unit or self-contained dwelling unit

by reason only of the race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability of that person or class of persons.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference because of physical or mental disability shall be permitted if that limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference is based upon a good faith qualification as determined by the commission.

8. A person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself only or by the interposition of another, shall not harass a person or class of persons who is an occupant of a commercial unit or self-contained dwelling unit because of the race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability of that person or class of persons.

9. (1) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of an employer, shall not refuse to employ or to continue to employ or otherwise discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a term of condition of employment because of

(a) that person's race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability; or

(b) that person's age, if that person has reached the age of 19 years and has not reached the age of 65 years.

but this subsection does not apply to the expression of a limitation, specification or preference based on a good faith occupational qualification.

(2) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of an employer, shall not use, in the hiring or recruitment of persons for employment, an employment agency that discriminates against persons seeking employment because of their race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability.

(3) A trade union shall not exclude a person from full membership or expel or suspend or otherwise discriminate against one of its members or discriminate against a person in regard to his or her employment by an employer, because of

(a) that person's race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability; or

(b) that person's age, if that person has reached the age of 19 years and has not reached the age of 65 years.

(4) A person shall not use or circulate a form of application for employment or publish an advertisement in connection with employment or prospective employment or make a written or oral inquiry in connection with employment that expresses either directly or indirectly

(a) a limitation, specification or preference as to race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability; or

(b) an intent to
(i) dismiss from employment,
(ii) refuse to employ or rehire, or
(iii) discriminate against
a person because of his age, if that person has reached the age of 19 years and has not reached the age of 65 years.

but this subsection does not apply to the expression of a limitation, specification, exclusion, denial or preference based on a good faith occupational qualification. (5) Notwithstanding subsection 9(1), the provisions of subsections (1), (3) and (4) as to age shall not apply to

(a) termination of employment because of the terms or conditions of a good faith retirement or pension plan;

(b) operation of the terms or conditions of a good faith retirement or pension plan which have the effect of a minimum service requirement; or

(c) operation of the terms or conditions of a good faith group or employee insurance plan.

(6) This section does not apply to an employer

(a) which is an exclusively religious, fraternal or sororal organization that is not operated for private profit; or

(b) in respect of the employment of a domestic employed and living in a single-family home.

10. (1) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of an employer, shall not refuse to employ or to continue to employ or otherwise discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a term or condition of employment because of that person's pay

(a) from a previous employer having been; or

(b) from him or her or another employer being or becoming

subject to

(c) attachment or seizure in satisfaction of a claim against; or

(d) alienation, assignment or transfer by

that person, but discrimination based on a good faith occupational qualification with respect to persons whose duties include the collecting, receiving or depositing of money belonging to the employer does not constitute a failure to comply with this subsection.

(2) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of an employer, shall not use, in the hiring or recruitment of persons for employment, an employment agency that discriminates against persons seeking employment for a reason that would be, in regard to an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer, discrimination under subsection (1).

(3) A trade union shall not exclude a person from full membership or expel or suspend or otherwise discriminate against a member or discriminate against a person in regard to his or her employment by an employer.

(4) A person shall not use or circulate a form of application for employment or publish an advertisement in connection with employment or prospective employment or make a written or oral inquiry in connection with employment that expresses either directly or indirectly

(a) a limitation, specification or preference as to a person; or

(b) an intent to
(i) dismiss from employment,
(ii) refuse to employ or rehire, or
(iii) discriminate against
a person

for a reason that would be, in regard to an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer, discrimination under subsection (1).

(5) This section does not apply to an employer in respect of the employment of a domestic employed and living in a single-family home.

11. (1) An employer, or a person acting on behalf of an employer, shall not establish or maintain differences in wages between male and female employees employed in the same establishment who are performing, under the same or similar working conditions, the same or similar work on jobs requiring the same or similar skill, effort and responsibility, except where the payment is made under

(a) a seniority system; or

(b) a merit system.

(2) A female employed in the same establishment as a male and who is performing under the same or similar working conditions, the same or similar work on jobs requiring the same or similar skill, effort and responsibility shall have

(a) opportunities for training and advancement; and

(b) pension rights and insurance benefits

equal to those applicable to the male.

(3) An employer shall not reduce the wages of a male or female employee in order to comply with subsection (1).

12. A person in an establishment shall not harass another person in the establishment because of the race, religion, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin of that person.

13. (1) A person who is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to another person shall not engage in sexual solicitation or make a sexual advance to that person where the person making the solicitation or advance knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome.

(2) A person who is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to another person shall not penalize, punish or threaten reprisal against that person for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance.

14. (1) A person shall not

(a) publish or display; or

(b) permit to be published or displayed on lands or premises or in a newspaper, through a radio or television broadcasting station or by means of another medium which he or she runs or controls

a notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation indicating discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a class of persons because of the race, religion, religious creed, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin, sex,sexual orientation, marital status, physical disability or mental disability of that person or class of persons.

(2) Nothing in this section interferes with the free expression of opinions upon a subject by speech or in writing.

15. A person, employer or trade union shall not evict, discharge, suspend, expel or otherwise discriminate against a person because he or she has made a complaint or given evidence or helped in any way in respect of the initiation or prosecution of a complaint or other proceeding under this Act.

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