Same Sex Partners and Pregnant Employees in Québec Protected from Discrimination

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Important amendments to Québec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms have just come into force. Among other changes, discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and sexual orientation in pension plans, insurance contracts and plans, and other social benefits is now prohibited.

As a result, spousal benefits under these plans must now be extended to same-sex spouses. Also, pregnancy-related conditions can no longer be distinguished from other illnesses. However, ‘state of health’ may be used as a risk determination factor in such plans.