Your Rights in Saskatchewan
Human rights in Canada are for all people including women, children and seniors.
Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out those rights and freedoms that Canadians believe are necessary in a free and democratic society. Some of the rights and freedoms contained in the Charter are as follows:
- Freedom of expression
- The right to a democratic government
- The right to live and to work anywhere in Canada
- Legal rights of persons accused of crimes
- Indigenous peoples' rights
- The right to equality, including the equality of men and women
- The right to use either of Canada's official languages
- The protection of Canada's multicultural heritage
1. Saskatchewan Human Rights Code
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code is the law used to promote and protect rights and equality in Saskatchewan.
Discrimination is an unfair action made against you because you belong to a certain group. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is a government agency that protects and promotes human rights in Saskatchewan.
Prohibited (Protected) Grounds
All individuals have certain rights guaranteed by this code, and it is illegal to discriminate against a person based on certain characteristics called prohibited (protected) grounds. These include the following:
- Marital status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Place of origin
- Race or perceived race
- Receipt of public assistance
- Gender identity
2. In the Workplace
Harassment is discrimination under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code when it involves the protected grounds and is done in a public area of life.
- Jokes that hurt your feelings;
- Someone calling you a bad name;
- Inappropriately touching you; or
- Denying you benefits.
For example, a supervisor or co-worker makes negative comments about your age, race or religious practices that you find offensive. As a result, you experience negative conditions at work. This would be discrimination in employment based on the protected grounds of age, race and religion.
Accommodation and Duty to Accommodate
An employee may sometimes need to change how their work is done, because of a disability or religious practice or a reason related to another prohibited ground. The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code requires employers to try to accommodate – or make adjustments – so that the employee can do their job.
In this instance, the duty to accommodate could mean:
- The employee must let their employer know they need an accommodation and will need to provide medical or other information.
- The employee and the employer need to cooperate to find a suitable accommodation.
- The employer needs to explore possible ways of changing the work, working conditions or work environment so the employee can do their job.
The employer is not required to make changes to the work or workplace if the accommodation would cause an undue hardship, such as causing a workplace to go bankrupt or creating a safety risk for the employee or others.
Examples of accommodation at work:
- An employer changes the work schedule of an employee who cannot work on Saturdays because of his or her religion.
- A store has a rule that all cashiers should stand while working. One employee has back pain and her doctor told her she should not stand for longer than 20 minutes at a time. The store manager gives the employee a stool to sit on when she needs to do her job.
3. Filing a Complaint
If you think someone is discriminating against you, you can make a complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. There is no cost to make a complaint and you don't need a lawyer.
You can get help with the filing a complaint and get your questions answered.
It is illegal for your employer to fire you or reduce your hours of work if you make a complaint of discrimination against them. This is called retaliation. If this happens or you suffer any losses, you may ask for financial compensation.
You are protected by federal and provincial privacy laws.
Under federal privacy laws, you have the right to:
- Expect that the federal government and some private-sector organizations that use your personal information have accurate, complete, and up-to-date personal information;
- Question this data, view your personal information, and ask for corrections if necessary; and
- Contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada about any alleged mishandling of your personal information.
Examples of your personal information include:
- Name, race, ethnic origin, religion, marital status, and educational level.
- E-mail or physical address and IP address.
- Age, height, weight, medical records, blood type, DNA code, fingerprints, and voiceprint.
- Income, purchases, spending habits, banking information, credit/debit card data, loan or credit reports and tax returns.
- Social insurance number or other identification numbers.
Under provincial privacy laws, you have the right to:
- Expect that the Saskatchewan government, local authorities and health trustees that use your personal information and personal health information have accurate and complete personal information;
- Contact the holders of the information, question this data, view your personal information, and ask for corrections if necessary; and
- Make a complaint to the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner about any alleged mishandling of your personal information.