Human Rights in the Workplace

Charter Document - Dignity in the Workplace

human rights - information & articles

Links Page

» Canadian Human Rights Links Page


Sexual Harassment

» A Look at Sexual Harassment In Today's Work Environment


» Strategies for Defeating Workplace Discrimination

what is discrimination?

In Canadian Law:
Discrimination is defined a distinction, whether intentional or not, based on grounds relating to personal characteristics of an individual or group, and which has the effect of imposing burdens, obligations, or disadvantages on such individuals or groups not imposed on others, or which withholds or limits access to opportunities, (services), benefits, and advantages available to other members of society.

Reference: Andrews v. Law Society of BC (1989)

This type of discrimination is also called adverse impact or adverse differential treatment discrimination, and in the case of the workplace, can detrimentally affect the work environment or lead to adverse job related consequences for the victim of the discrimination.

A Copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Heritage Institute's Services

The Heritage Institute's services include:

  • Advisory & consultation services
  • Facilitation
  • Training


  • Discrimination/Harassment Prevention & Intervention
  • Supervisors' responsibilities
  • Duty of care
  • Investigation & resolution skills

what is harassment? (specifically, what is workplace harassment according to human rights law?)

Harassment is any unwelcome or degrading conduct or comment based on one or several of the prohibited grounds that may detrimentally affect the work environment or lead to adverse job-related consequences for the victim of the harassment.

Harassment is a form of discrimination.

A Clay cylinder used to produce clay tablets inscribed with King Cyrus the Great of Persia's declaration of human rights

what is personal harassment?

In Canadian Common Law:
Personal harassment is any objectionable conduct or comment directed towards a specific person(s), which serves no legitimate work purpose, and which has the effect of creating an intimidating, humiliating, hostile or offensive work environment.

While harassment under human rights law needs to be based on enumerated grounds (personal or group characteristics specifically listed in the law or statute) personal harassment in common law, does not need to be based on (listed or similar) grounds.