Age is not always a protected ground

Age is defined in the Alberta Human Rights Act as "18 years or older." Age is a protected ground in the four areas listed below, and a person who is 18 years or older can make a human rights complaint based on age in these areas:

  • Employment practices
  • Employment applications or advertisements
  • Statements, publications, notices signs, symbols, emblems or other representations that are published, issued or displayed before the public
  • Membership in trade unions, employers' organizations or occupational associations

Age is not a protected ground in the two areas listed below. No one can make a human rights complaint based on age in these areas:

  • Goods, services, accommodation or facilities that are customarily available to the public:
    For example, a movie theatre offers lower ticket prices to seniors (over 65 years old) only. Because age is not protected in the area on services, a 55-year-old could not make a complaint of discrimination based on age because the theatre does not offer them the lower ticket price.
  • Tenancy:
    For example, a landlord advertises that an apartment building is for adults only and specifies that all tenants must be over 21 years old. Because age is not protected in the area of tenancy, a 19-year-old could not make a complaint of discrimination based on age.

Individuals under the age of 18 are protected from discrimination based on all grounds except age
Individuals under the age of 18 can make human rights complaints based on all grounds except the ground of age. For example, a 16-year-old can make a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission if they experience discrimination in the areas of employment practices, tenancy, etc. based on the grounds of race, gender, physical disability, etc., but not on the ground of age.

If you have questions about age as a protected ground, please contact the Commission.

Revised: February 1, 2010

 


The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.

Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination by email. Please contact the Commission by phone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.

You can access information about making FOIP requests for records held by the Commission on our Contact us page.

The Commission will make publications available in accessible formats upon request for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.