As of December 11, 2015, gender identity and gender expression
are prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Alberta
Human Rights Act. Under section 7 of the Act employers cannot
refuse to employ or to continue to employ any person, or
discriminate against any person with regard to employment or a term
or condition of employment based on a prohibited ground, which now
expressly includes gender identity and gender expression.
What do the terms gender identity and gender expression mean?
The terms are not defined in the Act, but generally gender
identity refers to a person's inner sense of being male or
female while gender expression refers to the external expression of
a person's gender, for example through dress, demeanour or
Employers need to ensure that employees are not subjected to
discrimination in the workplace on the basis of any prohibited
ground, including gender identity and gender expression. In order
to do so, employers should educate themselves about gender identity
and gender expression and update or implement their policies and
procedures accordingly. It is also a good idea to provide training
to all employees on the difference between gender identity and
gender expression and the policies and procedures in place to
ensure all employees are able to work in a discrimination-free
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about your specific circumstances.
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