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Association

Discrimination on the basis of association occurs when you are discriminated against because you associate with an individual or a group of individuals that identifies with one of the other prohibited grounds of discrimination.
In order to file a complaint based on associatin, a complainant must provide another ground of discrimination.  The Act does not cover a difference in treatment based solely on a personality conflict or long held dispute between two people.

Consider these scenarios:

Scenario 1: Jason views an apartment that has been advertised for rent. The landlord seems to react negatively when he learns that Jason is friends with two men that the landlord knows to be gay. When Jason calls the landlord to indicate that he is interested in renting the apartment, the landlord tells him that he thinks it has already been rented. Jason is suspicious. The next day, his friend Mary calls to inquire about the apartment and is told it is still available.

Scenario 2: Sherri considers herself to be non political but is married to a well-known political activist for a political party. Sherri works at the private business of a well-known supporter of another political party. When some of the staff members discover who her husband is, she notices that her shifts are cut back. Sherri goes to see her boss who tells her that they are not in the business of funding her husband’s party.

Jason and Sherri could be experiencing discrimination in the areas of accommodations and employment on the basis of association with one of the other prohibited grounds of discrimination. The landlord may be denying Jason the apartment because of his association with sexual orientation, while Sherri’s boss may be punishing her because of her association with political belief.

However, if Jason and Sherri were treated differently because of a long held personality conflict between Jason’s friends and the landlord, or between Sherri’s husband and her boss, and there was no evidence that the treatment was tied to a prohibited ground of discrimination, neither scenario would fall under the PEI Human Rights Act.

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