Section 15 Canadian Human Rights Act 1985

OTHER CANADIAN LAWS 1. Short title. 2. Purpose. 3. Prohibited grounds of discrimination. 3.1 Multiple grounds of discrimination. 4. Orders regarding discriminatory practices. 5. Denial of good, service, facility or accommodation. 6. Denial of commercial premises or residential accommodation. 7. Employment. 8. Employment applications, advertisements. 9. Employee organizations. 10. Discriminatory policy or practice. 11. Equal wages. 12. Publication of discriminatory notices, etc. 13. [Repealed, 2013, c. 37, s. 2] 14. Harassment. 14.1 Retaliation. 15. Exceptions. 16. Special programs. 17. Plans to meet the needs of disabled persons. 18. Rescinding approval of plan. 19. Opportunity to make representations. 20. Certain provisions not discriminatory. 21. Funds and plans. 22. Regulations. 23. Regulations. 24. Accessibility standards. 25. Definitions. 26. Commission established. 27. Powers, duties and functions. 28. Assignment of duties. 28.1 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 29. Regulations. 30. Salaries and remuneration. 31. Chief Commissioner. 32. Staff. 32.1 Accessibility unit. 32.2 Pay Equity Unit. 33. Compliance with security requirements. 34. Head office. 35. Majority is a decision of the Commission. 36. Establishment of divisions. 36.1 Pay Equity Division. 37. By-laws. 38. Superannuation, etc. 38.1. Powers, duties and functions. 38.2. Absence or incapacity of Accessibility Commissioner. 38.3. Powers, duties and functions. 38.4 Absence or incapacity of Pay Equity Commissioner. 39. Definition of discriminatory practice. 40. Complaints. 40.01. Disclosure of personal information. 40.1 Definitions. 40.2 Non-application of sections 7, 10 and 11. 41. Commission to deal with complaint. 42. Notice. 43. Designation of investigator. 44. Report. 45. Definition of Review Agency. 46. Report. 47. Appointment of conciliator. 48. Referral of a settlement to Commission. 48.1 Establishment of Tribunal. 48.2 Terms of office. 48.3 Remedial and disciplinary measures. 48.4 Status of members. 48.5 Residence. 48.6 Remuneration. 48.7 Head office. 48.8 [Repealed, 2014, c. 20, s. 415] 48.9 Conduct of proceedings. 49. Request for inquiry. 50. Conduct of inquiry. 51. Duty of Commission on appearing. 52. Hearing in public subject to confidentiality order. 53. Complaint dismissed. 54. Limitation. 54.1. Definitions. 55. and 56. [Repealed, 1998, c. 9, s. 29] 57. Enforcement of order. 58. Application respecting disclosure of information. 59. Intimidation or discrimination. 60. Offence. 61. Annual report of Commission. 61.1 Minister of Justice. 62. Limitation. 63. Application in the territories. 64. Canadian Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. 65. Acts of employees, etc. 66. Binding on Her Majesty 67. [Repealed, 2008, c. 30, s. 1]

Section 15 Canadian Human Rights Act

Section 15 Canadian Human Rights Act 1985 is about Exceptions (to discrimination). It is under Part I (Proscribed Discrimination) and ‘Discriminatory Practices’ of the Act.


(1) It is not a discriminatory practice if

(a) any refusal, exclusion, expulsion, suspension, limitation, specification or preference in relation to any employment is established by an employer to be based on a bona fide occupational requirement;

(b) employment of an individual is refused or terminated because that individual has not reached the minimum age, or has reached the maximum age, that applies to that employment by law or under regulations, which may be made by the Governor in Council for the purposes of this paragraph;

(c) [Repealed, 2011, c. 24, s. 166]

(d) the terms and conditions of any pension fund or plan established by an employer, employee organization or employer organization provide for the compulsory vesting or locking-in of pension contributions at a fixed or determinable age in accordance with sections 17 and 18 of the Pension Benefits Standards Act, 1985;

(d.1) the terms of any pooled registered pension plan provide for variable payments or the transfer of funds only at a fixed age under sections 48 or 55, respectively, of the Pooled Registered Pension Plans Act;

(e) an individual is discriminated against on a prohibited ground of discrimination in a manner that is prescribed by guidelines, issued by the Canadian Human Rights Commission pursuant to subsection 27(2), to be reasonable;

(f) an employer, employee organization or employer organization grants a female employee special leave or benefits in connection with pregnancy or child-birth or grants employees special leave or benefits to assist them in the care of their children; or

(g) in the circumstances described in section 5 or 6, an individual is denied any goods, services, facilities or accommodation or access thereto or occupancy of any commercial premises or residential accommodation or is a victim of any adverse differentiation and there is bona fide justification for that denial or differentiation.

Accommodation of needs

(2) For any practice mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) to be considered to be based on a bona fide occupational requirement and for any practice mentioned in paragraph (1)(g) to be considered to have a bona fide justification, it must be established that accommodation of the needs of an individual or a class of individuals affected would impose undue hardship on the person who would have to accommodate those needs, considering health, safety and cost.


(3) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing standards for assessing undue hardship.

Publication of proposed regulations

(4) Each regulation that the Governor in Council proposes to make under subsection (3) shall be published in the Canada Gazette and a reasonable opportunity shall be given to interested persons to make representations in respect of it.


(5) The Canadian Human Rights Commission shall conduct public consultations concerning any regulation proposed to be made by the Governor in Council under subsection (3) and shall file a report of the results of the consultations with the Minister within a reasonable time after the publication of the proposed regulation in the Canada Gazette.


(6) A proposed regulation need not be published more than once, whether or not it has been amended as a result of any representations.

Making of regulations

(7) The Governor in Council may proceed to make regulations under subsection (3) after six months have elapsed since the publication of the proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette, whether or not a report described in subsection (5) is filed.


(8) This section applies in respect of a practice regardless of whether it results in direct discrimination or adverse effect discrimination.

Universality of service for Canadian Forces

(9) Subsection (2) is subject to the principle of universality of service under which members of the Canadian Forces must at all times and under any circumstances perform any functions that they may be required to perform.

See also:

Section 14.1 Canadian Human Rights Act

Section 14 Canadian Human Rights Act

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