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Human rights

Employment : area where discrimination is prohibited | CDPDJ

Employment

Employment

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Every person has a right to fully equal treatment in the workplace. This right is guaranteed under the The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window..

Employment includes the following:

  • Hiring and pre-hiring (application forms, interviews)
  • Working conditions (salary, wages, probation period)
  • Professional training, promotion or transfer
  • Lay-off, suspension or dismissal

Discrimination and harassment are prohibited in the workplace. It is prohibited for any employer to treat an employee differently, or for employees to treat co-workers differently, on account of a personal characteristic.

It is also prohibited to refuse to hire, to fire or to penalize a person with respect to his employment on account of a previous conviction if:

  • the offence is unrelated to the employment

OR

  • if the person has obtained a pardon for the offence (also known as record suspension).

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Please note: These answers are to be used for information purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice.

  1. I am 65 years old and my employer told me that I should retire. Is there a mandatory retirement age in Québec?

    No, there is no mandatory retirement age in Québbec. However, there are specific regulations that establish mandatory retirement for certain positions, such as judges appointed by the Québec Minister of Justice (70) and Sûreté du Québec's police officers (65). To learn more… about Age as a ground of discrimination

  2. Can I be fired because I am a member of a political party?

    No, that would be considered discrimination based on political convictions, which is prohibited under the Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. To learn more… about Political convictions as a ground of discrimination

  3. I am married and mother of three children. I recently applied for a supervisor position, but my employer preferred to give the job to an unmarried co-worker with less experience than me. My employer suggested that he chose her because she has no children, and because she has more time and energy for the job. Is this acceptable?

    No, employers have the responsibility to evaluate you according to your skills and training. You cannot be excluded from a job based on your civil status, that is based on the fact that you are married and a mother. To learn more… about Civl status as a ground of discrimination

  4. During a hiring interview, can the employer ask me if I am pregnant or if I intend on having children?

    No, questions regarding pregnancy cannot be asked during an interview. To learn more… about Pregancy as a ground of discrimination

  5. I am physically disabled. I've been working for the same employer for 10 years. I recently got a service dog from the Mira Foundation. My employer is not happy and told me that the office was not made for dogs. He has asked me to leave my dog at home. Does he have the right to deny my service dog access to the workplace?

    No, your employer does not have the right to refuse because the service dog constitutes a means to palliate your disability. To learn more… about Disability as a ground of discrimination

  6. A job application form asks whether I take any medication, or if I am undergoing any medical treatment. Is that allowed?

    A job application form can only contain questions needed to gather information pertinent for the assessment of a candidate's qualifications and skills required for the job. To learn more… about discriminatory practice in a hiring process

  7. I work in a factory where several employees, including myself, are Chinese. During our coffee or lunch break, we often speak Mandarin. Our supervisor tells us to speak Québécois and threatens to fire us. Is he allowed to do that?

    No, your supervisor's behaviour could be considered harassment based on language. Unless the supervisor can prove that speaking French at all times in the workplace is a reasonable requirement - i.e. linked to health or the safety of the premises - he cannot keep you from speaking Mandarin during your breaks. To learn more… about Language as a ground of discrimination

  8. Some co-workers think I am gay and regularly make jokes and derogatory remarks regarding my sexual orientation. When I mentioned this to my supervisor, he told me not to listen to them and that they will stop once they realize I am not gay. Am I a victim of harassment?

    Yes, and your employer has the obligation to take every means possible to stop your co-workers' behaviour. To learn more… about Sexual Orientation as a ground of discrimination

  9. Can an employer demand legal proof of my permission to work in Canada and Québec during an interview?

    No. Employers may only request a proof of your right to work in Canada after offering you a job. This offer may be conditional on demonstrating proof of citizenship (for jobs requiring high-level security screening), permanent resident status or a work permit. To learn more… about Origin as a ground of discrimination

  10. Can I be asked what my religion is during a hiring interview?

    No. Questions regarding religion cannot be asked during a hiring interview. If a person's religious practices make it difficult for him or her to comply with a work schedule, the employer must try to accommodate the person by adapting his schedule, unless this accommodation would cause an undue hardship. However, the employer may not raise the question of reasonable accommodation based on religious considerations before hiring the person. To learn more… about discriminatory practice in a hiring process

  11. I am one of the few women who applied for a job as a "mechanic" in a heavy machinery factory. I have the training and the skills to perform the tasks required for the job. Yet, during the interview, I was asked if I was capable of working in a man's field. Does this question comply with the Charter?

    No, you should not be asked that type of question during an interview. It is the employer who must ensure that each employee is respected by their work colleagues. To learn more… about Sex as a ground of discrimination

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English language translations are provided when available.

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Do you think you are a victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace?

Check whether you can file a complaint before the Commission or request a reasonable accommodation by learning about:

The ground or grounds relevant to your case

If your case involves:

Find out more about the hiring and pre-hiring practices.