AGE: Under both Federal and Provincial legislation, there is protection against discrimination for people 19 years of age or older; the upper age limit of 65 years has now been removed from most human rights statutes in keeping with the abolishment of mandatory retirement.
ANCESTRY: Family descent or lineage of an individual or group.
BULLYING: Objectionable behaviour in the form of repeated and hostile/unwanted conduct, verbal comments, actions, or gestures. This behavior affects an employee’s dignity or psychological or physical integrity, serves no legitimate work-related purpose, and results in a harmful work environment for the employee. This is sometimes referred to as “personal harassment” or “psychological harassment”.
COMPLAINANT: An individual or party who makes or files a complaint.
DISABILITY: A state that usually has some degree of permanence and impairs an individual’s ability to fully discharge normal daily functions without assistance or support.
DISCRIMINATION: Any practice or standard that has the effect—whether intended or not—of limiting the opportunities available to certain individuals or groups due to shared personal characteristics (such as race or colour).
DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE: An employer's legal obligation to acknowledge and incorporate diversity within a workplace, and which sometimes requires the employer to eliminate or modify its rules, policies, practices, or behaviour that have the effect of discriminating against individuals based on a group characteristic.
FAMILY STATUS: Includes the concept of "family" either through blood relation, marital, sexual, economic or other close association.
GENDER: An individual's sex.
GENDER IDENTITY: An individual's internal sense of being male or being female that is usually in accord with, but sometimes opposed to, that individual’s physical anatomy.
HARASSMENT: Comment or conduct, whether intentional or not, that is known (or ought reasonably to be known) to be unwelcome and/or offensive, serves no legitimate work-related purpose, and causes a negative impact, or has adverse effects, upon an individual or group.
HUMAN RIGHTS: The concept that every member of society should be treated with respect and dignity, and should receive fair and equitable opportunities in such areas as employment, tenancy and services customarily available to the public.
MARITAL STATUS: Relationships that include designations of common law, divorced, engaged, married, separated, single, spousal (including same-sex), and widowed.
PLACE OF ORIGIN: The geographical region of an individual’s ancestry.
POLITICAL BELIEF: An individual’s particular political philosophy or orientation, or support for a political party or group.
PROTECTED CATEGORIES OR “PROHIBITED GROUNDS”: Characteristics of an individual or group for which the law provides protection from discriminatory conduct, most often in the areas of employment, tenancy or services customarily available to the public. In British Columbia, these prohibited grounds are enumerated in the legislation as including the following: age, ancestry, colour, family status, marital status, mental or physical disability, place of origin, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and conviction for an unrelated offence.
RACISM: Attitudes, practices, or beliefs that disadvantage a class or group of individuals due to their particular characteristics (such as race, colour, or ethnicity).
RESPONDENT: An individual or party against whom a complaint is made or filed.
SEXISM: Prejudice or discrimination based on an individual’s gender or sexual orientation.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Harassment that involves conduct or comment of a sexual nature.
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: An individual’s emotional or sexual attraction toward others that can be described as falling within a continuum from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and which also includes various forms of bisexuality.
TRANSGENDER: A general term relating to the tendency to diverge from the gender role that an individual is assigned at birth or that is traditionally imposed by society; the state of an individual’s gender identity that may include forms such as cross dressing, transvetism, or transsexuality.
UNRELATED CRIMINAL CONVICTION: A criminal conviction unrelated to an individual’s employment or union/association membership (or that individual’s intended employment or union/association membership).
WORKPLACE: Any location where an organization conducts its business, or where employees of a business gather or associate due to their connection to that business.
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