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Civil status

It's your family status. It includes several situations, including being single, married, divorced or in a common-law relationship and whether or not you have children.

A person cannot discriminate or harass you because of your civil status. The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits anyone to:

  • treat you differently because of your civil status
  • make offensive and repeated comments to you related to your civil status
  • behave repeatedly in an offensive manner towards you in relation to your civil status
For example, you cannot be denied a hotel room because you are not legally married.
This video presents the topic of civil status in American Sign Language (ASL)

Do you believe you are being discriminated against or harassed because of your civil status?

The Commission can help you recognize discrimination or harassment and take action to prevent or stop discriminatory behaviour.

Discrimination Harassment Defending your rights

Discriminated against at work because she is married

Eric and Rosanne are married and worked for the same company. Following a disagreement with his superior, Eric resigned. Since then, Rosanne was monitored in an unusual way, even though she has ten years of seniority and her performance reviews have always been excellent. Rosanne asked the company president to address this. The president told Rosanne that Eric’s resignation had complicated things, and then dismissed her. Rosanne is not responsible for her husband’s resignation. Her employer cannot dismiss her because of Eric’s behaviour. This is discrimination on the basis of civil status.

Discrimination for having a baby

Fatou made a telephone appointment to view an apartment for rent. She went there that afternoon with her baby. When she arrived, the owner looked at her in surprise and refused to let her view the unit. He told her that the apartment has just been rented to someone else. Yet, the “For Rent” sign was still up. Fatou was discriminated against on the basis of her civil status. The landlord cannot deny her a place to live because she has a child.

Did you know?

In Québec, same-sex couples have had the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples since 1999.

Learn more...

Find all our publications, training and other resources available on this gound. 

Resources on civil status