Gender Identity and Gender Expression

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Updated Human Rights Legislation July 2016

On July 28, 2016, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2016 came into effect.  The amendment:

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  • Adds the grounds “gender identity or expression” to all areas of the Code (except wage discrimination based on sex).
  • Adds the grounds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” to the non-profit exemption, and adds the grounds “sexual orientation” and “gender identify or expression” to the employment equity provision.

Most material online has now been updated. Descriptions of personal characteristics protected by the Human Rights Code are available at .

Gender Expression: BC Human Rights

Gender expression is how a person presents their gender. This can include behaviour and appearance, including dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. This can also include name and pronoun, such as he, she or they.  How a person presents their gender may not necessarily reflect their gender identity.

Gender Identity: BC Human Rights

Gender identity is a person’s sense of themselves as male, female, both, in between or neither.    It includes people who identify as transgender.  Gender identity may be different or the same as the sex a person is assigned at birth.

For more information on the employment equity exemption, you can visit . For more information on the non-profit exemption, you can visit .

What Do Organizations Need to Do?

We recommend that organizations update their current policies and procedures related to human rights and communicate these updates internally.

If you’re interested in training for the awareness and prevention of discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the workplace, please contact Hone to learn more about our Human Rights at Work training.

For over 20 years, Hone personnel have been involved with training for Human Rights. 

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