What You Need To Know

Human rights legislation makes it illegal to discriminate, even unintentionally, against various groups of people. The Human Rights Act applies to all aspects of a workplace and to all stages of employment. From job interview to termination, employers need to be aware of, and respect, human rights. An important feature of human rights legislation is the requirement for reasonable accommodation. Employers are required to adapt employment policies and practices so that no employee is prevented from doing their job on the basis of prohibited grounds for discrimination (see list below).

Employers must provide a workplace where human rights are respected at all times.

Why You Need To Know

It is against the law for employers to discriminate on the basis of certain grounds and personal characteristics.

“It is recognized in Prince Edward Island as a fundamental principle that all persons are equal in dignity and human rights without regard to age, color, creed, disability, ethnic or national origin, family status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or source of income.” (Preamble, Human Rights Act)

Example 1:

It is illegal to fire an employee because of a disability or family status.

Example 2:

Human rights limits what an employer can ask in an interview. You do not need to know a person’s religious beliefs, how they vote, or if they plan to have children.  Interview questions should only be based on the requirements of the job.

What You Need To Do

Human rights legislation is a very broad area.  As an employer, you need to know and comply with PEI’s Human Rights Act so that you maintain a workplace that is fair and respectful towards all employees.


PEI Human Rights Commission

53 Water Street, P.O. Box 2000, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone 902-368-4180
Toll-free 1-800-237-5031 (PEI only)