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Education & Resources

Discrimination is prohibited by the human Rights code

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Fact Sheet


What is discrimination?


Discrimination under The Human Rights Code (“The Code”) is treating a person or group
differently, to their disadvantage and without reasonable cause, on the basis of a group
characteristic, such as ancestry, sex or disability.


Failure to reasonably accommodate a special need that is based on a protected characteristic,
such as disability or religion, is also discriminatory. Harassment based on a protected
characteristic, such as sexual orientation, and sexual harassment is prohibited as well.


The Code prohibits unreasonable discrimination in all aspects of employment, in housing, in
the provision of services or contracts and in signs and notices. In determining whether
discrimination has taken place, it is the effect and not the intention that is important.


What are the protected grounds under The Code?


The Code prohibits discrimination based on the following characteristics:

  • ancestry, including race and colour;
  • nationality;
  • ethnic origin;
  • religion;
  • age;
  • sex, including pregnancy and gender identity;
  • gender-determined characteristics;
  • sexual orientation;
  • marital or family status;
  • source of income;
  • political belief; and
  • physical or mental disability.


In addition to these listed characteristics, The Code prohibits discrimination that is based on
other group stereotypes, rather than on individual merit. For example, the Manitoba Human
Rights Commission accepts complaints on the basis of criminal record or disadvantaged
social condition.


What is The Human Rights Code?


The Code is the provincial human rights law that protects individuals and groups in Manitoba
from discrimination. It is administered by the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, and sets
out a process for filing a human rights complaint. There is no charge for filing a human
rights complaint or for seeking advice about a human rights concern. The Code has special
status over all other laws of the Province of Manitoba.


This information is a simplified description of provisions under The Human Rights Code. For
more information, please consult The Code, or contact the Manitoba Human Rights Commission.


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