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Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2021-08-31. Previous Versions

PART IICanadian Human Rights Commission (continued)

Powers, Duties and Functions (continued)

Marginal note:Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

 The Commission is, for the purposes of paragraph 2 of article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 13, 2006, designated as a body responsible for monitoring the Government of Canada’s implementation of that Convention.

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Commission, may make regulations authorizing the Commission to exercise such powers and perform such duties and functions, in addition to those prescribed by this Act, as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Part and Parts I and III.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 23

Remuneration

Marginal note:Salaries and remuneration

  •  (1) Each full-time member of the Commission shall be paid a salary to be fixed by the Governor in Council and each part-time member of the Commission may be paid such remuneration, as is prescribed by by-law of the Commission, for attendance at meetings of the Commission, or of any division or committee of the Commission, that the member is requested by the Chief Commissioner to attend.

  • Marginal note:Additional remuneration

    (2) A part-time member of the Commission may, for any period during which that member, with the approval of the Chief Commissioner, performs any duties and functions additional to the normal duties and functions of that member on behalf of the Commission, be paid such additional remuneration as is prescribed by by-law of the Commission.

  • Marginal note:Travel expenses

    (3) Each member of the Commission is entitled to be paid such travel and living expenses incurred by the member in the performance of duties and functions under this Act as are prescribed by by-law of the Commission.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 24

Officers and Staff

Marginal note:Chief Commissioner

  •  (1) The Chief Commissioner is the chief executive officer of the Commission and has supervision over and direction of the Commission and its staff and shall preside at meetings of the Commission.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

    (2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief Commissioner, or if that office is vacant, the Deputy Chief Commissioner has all the powers and may perform all the duties and functions of the Chief Commissioner.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity of Chief and Deputy Chief

    (3) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief Commissioner and the Deputy Chief Commissioner, or if those offices are vacant, the full-time member, other than the Accessibility Commissioner, with the most seniority has all the powers and may perform all the duties and functions of the Chief Commissioner.

Marginal note:Staff

  •  (1) Such officers and employees as are necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Commission shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

  • Marginal note:Contractual assistance

    (2) The Commission may, for specific projects, enter into contracts for the services of persons having technical or specialized knowledge of any matter relating to the work of the Commission to advise and assist the Commission in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties and functions under this Act, and those persons may be paid such remuneration and expenses as may be prescribed by by-law of the Commission.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 26

Marginal note:Accessibility unit

 The officers and employees of the Commission that support the Accessibility Commissioner in the exercise of his or her powers and the performance of his or her duties and functions under the Accessible Canada Act may be referred to as the “Accessibility Unit”.

Marginal note:Pay Equity Unit

 The officers and employees of the Commission that support the Pay Equity Commissioner in the exercise of his or her powers and the performance of his or her duties and functions under the Pay Equity Act may be referred to as the “Pay Equity Unit”.

Marginal note:Compliance with security requirements

  •  (1) Every member of the Commission and every person employed by the Commission who is required to receive or obtain information relating to any investigation under this Act shall, with respect to access to and the use of such information, comply with any security requirements applicable to, and take any oath of secrecy required to be taken by, individuals who normally have access to and use of such information.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure

    (2) Every member of the Commission and every person employed by the Commission shall take every reasonable precaution to avoid disclosing any matter the disclosure of which

    • (a) might be injurious to international relations, national defence or security or federal-provincial relations;

    • (b) would disclose a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada;

    • (c) would be likely to disclose information obtained or prepared by any investigative body of the Government of Canada

      • (i) in relation to national security,

      • (ii) in the course of investigations pertaining to the detection or suppression of crime generally, or

      • (iii) in the course of investigations pertaining to particular offences against any Act of Parliament;

    • (d) might, in respect of any individual under sentence for an offence against any Act of Parliament,

      • (i) lead to a serious disruption of that individual’s institutional, parole or mandatory supervision program,

      • (ii) reveal information originally obtained on a promise of confidentiality, express or implied, or

      • (iii) result in physical or other harm to that individual or any other person;

    • (e) might impede the functioning of a court of law, or a quasi-judicial board, commission or other tribunal or any inquiry established under the Inquiries Act; or

    • (f) might disclose legal opinions or advice provided to a government department or body or privileged communications between lawyer and client in a matter of government business.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 27

Marginal note:Head office

  •  (1) The head office of the Commission shall be in the National Capital Region described in the schedule to the National Capital Act.

  • Marginal note:Other offices

    (2) The Commission may establish such regional or branch offices, not exceeding twelve, as it considers necessary to carry out its powers, duties and functions under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Meetings

    (3) The Commission may meet for the conduct of its affairs at such times and in such places as the Chief Commissioner considers necessary or desirable.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 28

Marginal note:Majority is a decision of the Commission

 A decision of the majority of the members present at a meeting of the Commission, if the members present constitute a quorum, is a decision of the Commission.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 28

Marginal note:Establishment of divisions

  •  (1) Subject to section 36.1, for the purposes of the affairs of the Commission, the Chief Commissioner may establish divisions of the Commission and all or any of the powers, duties and functions of the Commission, except the making of by-laws, may, as directed by the Commission, be exercised or performed by all or any of those divisions.

  • Marginal note:Designation of presiding officer

    (2) Where a division of the Commission has been established pursuant to subsection (1), the Chief Commissioner may designate one of the members of the division to act as the presiding officer of the division.

Marginal note:Pay Equity Division

  •  (1) On receipt of a complaint under section 40 alleging a discriminatory practice under section 11, the Chief Commissioner must establish, for the purposes of Part III, a Pay Equity Division of the Commission of which the Pay Equity Commissioner is the presiding officer.

  • Marginal note:Complaints — section 11

    (2) A Pay Equity Division established under subsection (1) must exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Commission under Part III with respect to the complaint in question.

Marginal note:By-laws

  •  (1) The Commission may make by-laws for the conduct of its affairs and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make by-laws

    • (a) respecting the calling of meetings of the Commission or any division thereof and the fixing of quorums for the purposes of those meetings;

    • (b) respecting the conduct of business at meetings of the Commission or any division thereof;

    • (c) respecting the establishment of committees of the Commission, the delegation of powers, duties and functions to those committees and the fixing of quorums for meetings thereof;

    • (d) respecting the procedure to be followed in dealing with complaints under Part III that have arisen in Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut;

    • (e) prescribing the rates of remuneration to be paid to part-time members of the Commission and any person engaged under subsection 32(2); and

    • (f) prescribing reasonable rates of travel and living expenses to be paid to members of the Commission and any person engaged under subsection 32(2).

  • Marginal note:Treasury Board approval

    (2) No by-law made under paragraph (1)(e) or (f) has effect unless it is approved by the Treasury Board.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 37
  • 1993, c. 28, s. 78
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 21
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 126

Marginal note:Superannuation, etc.

 The full-time members of the Commission are deemed to be persons employed in the public service for the purposes of the Public Service Superannuation Act and to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 38
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 137(E)

Accessibility Commissioner

Marginal note:Powers, duties and functions

 In addition to being a member of the Commission, the Accessibility Commissioner has the powers, duties and functions assigned to him or her by the Accessible Canada Act.

Marginal note:Absence or incapacity of Accessibility Commissioner

 In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Accessibility Commissioner, or if the office of Accessibility Commissioner is vacant, the Chief Commissioner may authorize any member of the Commission, other than himself or herself, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Accessibility Commissioner, but no member may be so authorized for a term of more than 90 days without the Governor in Council’s approval.

Pay Equity Commissioner

Marginal note:Powers, duties and functions

 In addition to being a member of the Commission, the Pay Equity Commissioner must exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions assigned to him or her by the Pay Equity Act.

Marginal note:Absence or incapacity of Pay Equity Commissioner

  •  (1) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Pay Equity Commissioner, or if the office of Pay Equity Commissioner is vacant, the Chief Commissioner may authorize any member of the Commission, other than himself or herself, to exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Pay Equity Commissioner, but no member may be so authorized for a term of more than 90 days without the Governor in Council’s approval.

  • Marginal note:Required qualifications — acting Pay Equity Commissioner

    (2) The Chief Commissioner must take into consideration, in appointing the acting Pay Equity Commissioner, knowledge and experience in relation to pay equity matters.

PART IIIDiscriminatory Practices and General Provisions

Definition of discriminatory practice

 For the purposes of this Part, a discriminatory practice means any practice that is a discriminatory practice within the meaning of sections 5 to 14.1.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 39
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 22

Marginal note:Complaints

  •  (1) Subject to subsections (5) and (7), any individual or group of individuals having reasonable grounds for believing that a person is engaging or has engaged in a discriminatory practice may file with the Commission a complaint in a form acceptable to the Commission.

  • Marginal note:Consent of victim

    (2) If a complaint is made by someone other than the individual who is alleged to be the victim of the discriminatory practice to which the complaint relates, the Commission may refuse to deal with the complaint unless the alleged victim consents thereto.

  • Marginal note:Investigation commenced by Commission

    (3) Where the Commission has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is engaging or has engaged in a discriminatory practice, the Commission may initiate a complaint.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (3.1) No complaint may be initiated under subsection (3) as a result of information obtained by the Commission in the course of the administration of the Employment Equity Act.

  • Marginal note:Complaints may be dealt with together

    (4) If complaints are filed jointly or separately by more than one individual or group alleging that a particular person is engaging or has engaged in a discriminatory practice or a series of similar discriminatory practices and the Commission is satisfied that the complaints involve substantially the same issues of fact and law, it may deal with the complaints together under this Part and may request the Chairperson of the Tribunal to institute a single inquiry into the complaints under section 49.

  • Marginal note:Multiple allegations

    (4.1) If a complaint alleging a discriminatory practice under section 11 also includes allegations to which section 11 does not apply, the Pay Equity Division may

    • (a) exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the Commission under this Part with respect to the complaint as filed; or

    • (b) at any stage after the filing of the complaint, sever the complaint and refer to the Commission some or all of the allegations that do not allege a discriminatory practice under section 11.

  • Marginal note:New complaint

    (4.2) If the Pay Equity Division refers allegations severed from a complaint to the Commission under paragraph (4.1)(b), the Commission is deemed to have received a new complaint for the purposes of section 40.

  • Marginal note:No complaints to be considered in certain cases

    (5) No complaint in relation to a discriminatory practice may be dealt with by the Commission under this Part unless the act or omission that constitutes the practice

    • (a) occurred in Canada and the victim of the practice was at the time of the act or omission either lawfully present in Canada or, if temporarily absent from Canada, entitled to return to Canada;

    • (b) occurred in Canada and was a discriminatory practice within the meaning of section 5, 8, 10 or 12 in respect of which no particular individual is identifiable as the victim;

    • (c) occurred outside Canada and the victim of the practice was at the time of the act or omission a Canadian citizen or an individual lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence.

  • Marginal note:Determination of status

    (6) Where a question arises under subsection (5) as to the status of an individual in relation to a complaint, the Commission shall refer the question of status to the appropriate Minister and shall not proceed with the complaint unless the question of status is resolved thereby in favour of the complainant.

  • Marginal note:No complaints to be dealt with in certain cases

    (7) No complaint may be dealt with by the Commission pursuant to subsection (1) that relates to the terms and conditions of a superannuation or pension fund or plan, if the relief sought would require action to be taken that would deprive any contributor to, participant in or member of, the fund or plan of any rights acquired under the fund or plan before March 1, 1978 or of any pension or other benefits accrued under the fund or plan to that date, including

    • (a) any rights and benefits based on a particular age of retirement; and

    • (b) any accrued survivor’s benefits.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 40
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 62
  • 1995, c. 44, s. 47
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 23
  • 2013, c. 37, s. 3
  • 2018, c. 27, s. 424
 
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