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Discrimination in Employment Advertisements

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 Under British Columbia's Human Rights Code, you cannot publish an employment ad which expresses a "preference, limitation, or specification" with respect to a prohibited ground of discrimination, unless it is based on a legitimate, bona fide ("good faith") job requirement. For example, it makes sense to hire only women to model women's clothing, translators fluent in the required languages, and so forth.

In order to prove a bona fide occupational requirement exists, the employer must prove that the discrimination was honestly imposed and related to the actual job requirements.

For example, an employer may not advertise a position as suitable for a man, or by stating that "no women need apply." However, such an ad would be allowed if the employer could prove it sincerely believed that only a man could adequately perform the work, it had no ulterior motive, and its hiring practice was related to job requirements. In today's society, however, such blatant sexual discrimination would be very difficult to defend.

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This page last updated: October 14, 1999
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