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Language Discrimination & Harassment Policy

As Canada’s population and workforce has grown more ethnically diverse, discrimination on the basis of the language a person speaks has increased. Here’s a policy template you can adapt to ban language discrimination and harassment at your own workplace.



ABC Company recognizes that while English and French are the country’s official languages, more than 200 languages are spoken by the Canadian population. The Company also recognizes that many of these individuals are subject to workplace discrimination and harassment because of the language they speak and that such conduct violates human rights laws, Charter rights and ABC Company values, as well as its commitment to ensure a workplace where all are treated with dignity and respect and nobody is subjected to discrimination and harassment.


The purpose of this Policy is two fold:

  • To establish clear ground rules regarding language discrimination so that all employees understand what is and is not acceptable; and
  • To describe the procedures ABC Company follows to receive, investigate and resolve complaints of language discrimination, including imposition of discipline for those found guilty of offences. 

“Language discrimination” means any conduct, decision-making, actions or distinctions based on a language a person speaks which, whether intentionally or not, directly or indirectly has the effect of imposing burdens on an individual or group, not imposed upon others or which withholds or limits access to benefits available to other members of society. Language discrimination is a form of national origin discrimination banned by both federal and provincial human rights codes and may occur even if language is only factor in the conduct, decision-making, action or distinction. Language discrimination can take several forms…