What is workplace discrimination?

In Canada, workplace discrimination is the unfair or prejudicial treatment of employees or job applicants based on protected characteristics, including race, gender, age and religion.

Discrimination can occur during any phase of employment, including hiring, promotion, compensation, termination, and day-to-day work interactions.

Workplace discrimination in Canada is governed by federal and provincial human rights legislation that may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

Learn about discrimination at work in your province:


Workplace discrimination can cause harm to both employees and employers. It hinders diversity, inclusion, and productivity and can lead to legal consequences for employers who fail to address or prevent discriminatory practices.

Types of discrimination

Workplace discrimination can manifest itself in many different ways:

  • Direct Discrimination: Occurs when an individual is treated unfairly or less favourably due to their protected characteristic.
  • Indirect Discrimination: Involves policies or practices that, while appearing neutral on the surface, disproportionately disadvantage individuals with certain protected characteristics.
  • Harassment: Inappropriate or offensive conduct, comments, or behaviour based on protected characteristics that create a hostile or intimidating work environment.
  • Retaliation: Occurs when an employer takes adverse actions against an employee for asserting their rights or opposing discriminatory practices.

What happens if I experience discrimination at work?

If an employee experiences discrimination in the workplace, they should consider taking the following steps:

  • Document incidents
  • Review company policies
  • Talk to the offender (if you feel safe and comfortable doing so)
  • Consult management
  • Get legal advice

In some cases, resignation with severance pay may be an effective option. At Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, we can determine if your negative experience has effectively ended, or terminated, the working relationship. You may be entitled to a full severance packageas much as 24 months’ pay – through a constructive dismissal claim.

Do I get severance if I quit?
Recruiter awarded $50k, lost pay after sexual harassment by HR manager

Consult with our legal team before you quit your job! You may jeopardize your right to compensation if you observe the proper steps when resigning.

Workplace discrimination lawyers

The workplace discrimination lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP are dedicated legal professionals with a proven track record of championing the rights of employees who have faced discrimination in the workplace. With our deep expertise in employment law and a commitment to justice, we provide unwavering support and advocacy for victims of discrimination, helping them navigate the legal complexities and seek proper compensation. We’ve helped tens of thousands of employees obtain justice since 2007.

From Ontario to Alberta and B.C., our employment lawyers are here to resolve your workplace concerns. If you’re a non-unionized employee experience discrimination at work, contact us online or at 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

Choose Samfiru Tumarkin LLP

  • Respected and trusted team

    Our employment and disability lawyers have earned the respect of our peers, media outlets and tens of thousands of clients.
  • Results you need

    We endeavour to produce the most effective and efficient results possible for our clients, a claim backed up by 1,000+ positive online reviews from across Canada.
  • You don't pay unless We Win

    We offer a contingency fee arrangement where appropriate. We aren't paid unless we recover money for you.
  • Customer service

    Our lawyers are very responsive and keep their clients updated during every step of the process.
  • Reduced stress

    Our lawyers fight on your behalf. We deal directly with your employer or insurance company so you don't have to.
  • Understand your rights

    We will tell you what your legal rights are and the steps we will take to enforce them so that you are confident in your case.

Experiencing discrimination in the workplace?

Talk to an employment lawyer to find out what your rights are.

Get Help Now

Use our interactive resources

You have employment rights! Find out how to enforce them through our helpful resources, various TV and radio programs, and our blog.

Pocket Employment Lawyer

Use our interactive resource to determine if your employment rights have been violated or if your long term disability claim was inappropriately denied.

Use Pocket Employment Lawyer

Severance Pay Calculator

Accurate. Anonymous. FREE. Used by over one million Canadians to calculate their severance packages.

Calculate Severance Now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. If you require help from a labour and employment lawyer, rely on our experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firm. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get Help Now