Fact Sheet:
Discrimination is prohibited by The Human Rights Code

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 unreasonable discrimination based on the following grounds, called "protected characteristics."

  • Ancestry
  • Nationality or national origin
  • Ethnic background or origin
  • Religion or creed, or religious belief, religious association or religious activity
  • Age
  • Sex, including gender-determined characteristics, such as pregnancy
  • Gender-identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital or family status
  • Source of income
  • Political belief, political association or political activity
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Social disadvantage

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.