Membership in Professional or Business Associations

Someone’s gender, colour, or sexual orientation shouldn’t prevent him or her from joining a professional association, employee organization or a trade association.  It is against the law in Nova Scotia to discriminate in this area.  Fortunately, these problems are rare. That’s because now, most organizations don’t limit their membership based on what is known as a protected characteristic. These include not only gender, colour and sexual orientation, but also cover disability, age, family status, source of income and others.

In the past, people have had to fight for the right to belong to these and similar organizations. Today, if someone were barred from joining a professional association because of a protected characteristic, or made to feel unwelcome for the same reason, they would have very clear rights.  These organizations could be forced to change their policies or rules, and make up for the harm caused to the person affected.