Legal News

BC Human Rights Code amended to include express protection for transgender rights

On July 28, 2016, the Human Rights Code was amended to add express protection for transgender individuals.  The amendment:

  • Adds the grounds of “gender identity or expression” to all areas of the Human Rights Code (except wage discrimination based on sex);
  • Adds the grounds of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the non-profit exemption (s. 41); and
  • Adds the grounds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the employment equity provision (s. 42).

Prior to express recognition in the Code, the Human Rights Tribunal accepted claims of discrimination under the grounds of “sexual orientation” and “sex” for transgender individuals.  The amendment brings British Columbia’s human rights legislation into line with the express protections offered in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador and the Northwest Territories.

Questions about the content of this article may be directed to Richard Truman.