The Canadian Human Rights Commission defines discrimination as an action or a decision that treats a person or a group differently, whether it is intentional or not, based on one of the prohibited grounds found in section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act ("CHRC"):

"For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered."

Discrimination in the workplace will usually take one of the following forms:
* harassment based on a prohibited ground;
* policies or practices that deprive or tend to deprive an individual or class of individuals of any employment opportunities based on a prohibited ground;
* failure to take into account a person's disability; or  
* failure to treat two groups of employees differently (e.g. pay equity).