Marital and Family Status - s.9(2)(i)
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS’ POLICY version 1.1
SUBJECT: MARITAL AND FAMILY STATUS – s.9(2)(i)
REVISED DATE: September 2, 2015
This policy is intended to assist in the interpretation of “marital or family status” referred to in section 9 of The Human Rights Code (“The Code”). Where there is any conflict between this policy and The Code, The Code prevails.
The protected ground of “marital or family status” may be broken up into two distinct categories: marital status and family status.
“Marital status” will be interpreted to include being engaged to be married, married, single, separated, divorced, or widowed, and includes the status of living with a person in a conjugal relationship outside marriage, including both same-sex and opposite sex relationships.
“Family status” will be interpreted to include being a parent, regardless of the manner in which a person becomes a parent, or not being a parent, and includes any other familial or perceived familial relationship (for example: child, sibling, grandparent, etc.) or an absence of a relationship.
These definitions are not exhaustive and “marital or family status” will be given a broad and purposive interpretation based on the policy considerations underlying The Code, which are to prevent and eliminate discrimination against individuals or groups based on the characteristics listed in The Code.
In determining whether discrimination has occurred based on marital status or family status, the Commission will apply Policy #G-7 Reasonable Accommodation: “Marital or Family Status” that adopts the analysis outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decisions of British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Comm.) v. B.C.G.E.U. (1999), 35 C.H.R.R. D/257 (“Meiorin”) and British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles) v. British Columbia (Council of Human Rights) (1999) 36 C.H.R.R. D/129 (“Grismer”).
“Yvonne Peters” September 2, 2015