Nature and Scope of the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act of New Brunswick, which is often cited as the Human Rights Code, is a provincial law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 14 personal characteristics in certain activities that fall under provincial jurisdiction. It is the principal legal instrument through which equality rights are enforced in New Brunswick, Canada.

The activities to which the Act applies are:

all aspects of employment;

public services, accommodations and facilities;

occupancy of premises;

sale of property;

labour unions and professional, business or trade associations; and

notices and signs.

However, the Act does not apply to federally regulated activities, such as broadcasting, telecommunications, banking, railways, ships, airlines, extra-provincial transportation, First Nations Band Councils and the federal government. Federally regulated activities are subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which is enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The New Brunswick Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination by private s Read More

Nature and Scope of the Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act of New Brunswick, which is often cited as the Human Rights Code, is a provincial law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 14 personal characteristics in certain activities that fall under provincial jurisdiction. It is the principal legal instrument through which equality rights are enforced in New Brunswick, Canada.

The activities to which the Act applies are:

all aspects of employment;

public services, accommodations and facilities;

occupancy of premises;

sale of property;

labour unions and professional, business or trade associations; and

notices and signs.

However, the Act does not apply to federally regulated activities, such as broadcasting, telecommunications, banking, railways, ships, airlines, extra-provincial transportation, First Nations Band Councils and the federal government. Federally regulated activities are subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which is enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The New Brunswick Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination by private sector businesses and organizations, as well as by the provincial and municipal governments in the province of New Brunswick. Employers are responsible for the acts of their employees if such acts were committed in the course of employment, that is, if they were in some way related or associated with employment.

The courts have stated that it is not possible to avoid human rights laws through contracts or collective agreements and that human rights laws prevail over any other law that conflicts with them unless it expressly says otherwise. However, human rights laws are subject to the Constitution, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


© 2006, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

Learners will understand the nature and scope of the New Brunswick Human Rights Act.

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