The Human Rights Act of New Brunswick, which is often called the Human Rights Code, is a provincial law that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 16 prohibited grounds of discrimination (with specific provisions for sexual harassment and reprisal) in specified activities that fall under provincial jurisdiction. It is the principal legal instrument through which equality rights are enforced in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Act applies to public accommodations, services and facilities (e.g. motels, schools, restaurants, stores, washrooms, insurance); the leasing of premises (e.g. apartments); the sale of property; labour unions and professional, business or trade associations; notices and signs; and all aspects of employment.
The New Brunswick Human Rights Act applies to private sector businesses and organizations as well as to the provincial and municipal governments. Employers are responsible for the acts of their employees if such acts were committed in the course of employment, that is, if they were in some way related or associated with employment. Co-workers may also be personally liable for their actions. Schools are usually liable for bullying between students based on any of the 16 listed prohibited grounds.
However, the Human Rights Act does not apply to federally regulated activities. Some examples are broadcasting, telecommunications, banking, railways, shipping, aeronautics, extra-provincial transportation, uranium, grains, First Nations governments and the federal government. Federally regulated activities are subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which is enforced by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The courts have stated that it is not possible to avoid human rights laws through contracts or collective agreements, and that human rights laws prevail over any other law that conflicts with them unless it expressly says otherwise.
Like all laws, the Human Rights Act is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has been part of Canada's Constitution since 1982. Like the Act, the Charter protects equality rights. However, the Charter also guarantees certain fundamental freedoms, democratic rights, mobility rights, legal rights, aboriginal rights and linguistic rights, and, unlike the Human Rights Act, the Charter only applies to governments and their agents; private sector businesses and organisations are not subject to the Charter. The Commission interprets and applies the Human Rights Act in a manner consistent with the Charter.
No regulations have been issued pursuant to the Human Rights Act. However, the Human Rights Commission has adopted various guidelines.