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Have you been fired or laid off?

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Can I be fired for a reason that goes against my human rights?

In almost all cases, an employer cannot fire you because of your:

  • race or colour,
  • ancestry, ethnic origin, or place of origin,
  • citizenship,
  • sex,
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender identity or gender expression,
  • age,
  • record of offences,
  • marital status,
  • family status, or
  • disability.

For example, an employer cannot fire you because you are pregnant, ask for a disability leave, or have reached a certain age.

In very rare cases, your employer might be able to fire you because you cannot do your job for a reason that relates to your human rights.

But before your employer can do that, they must show that you could not do the basic duties of your job, even with accommodation.

Your employer has what’s called a “duty to accommodate” if you need changes to your job for a human rights reason. This means that your employer must work with you to find a way for you to continue to do your job. For example, you might need to start work earlier so you can care for your children after school.

If you cannot do your job now, but will be able to in the future, your employer might have to:

  • put you on leave, and
  • give you your job back when you can work again.

You may want to get legal advice if you believe that your employer fired you for reasons that go against your human rights. See Where can I find out more and get legal help?