Newfoundland/Labrador - Filing a Human Rights Complaint

Newfoundland/Labrador – Filing a Human Rights Complaint

Instructions, Resources and Help lines

If you have been denied service due to not wearing a mask, business owners could be held liable for a fine (up to $75,000 as it varies in each province) if you file a human rights complaint.

A business is not “private”.  When a business owner obtains a business license, they are open to the “public” and they are not permitted to discriminate against anyone who is exempt from wearing a mask.

Federal Privacy Act: Nobody has the right to request to see an exemption. It is a violation of your privacy rights under the Privacy Act. This is your personal medical information between you and your physician.

What is personal information under the Privacy Act?  Click Here Privacy Act

“The Privacy Act offers protections for personal information, which it defines as any recorded information “about an identifiable individual.”


Covid-19 measures must comply with our Constitution, including our Charter, they do not nullify nor supersede them, nor is there any express mention in any such law, statute, regulation, order or Guidance to do so.

Dr. Fitzgerald says those unable to wear a mask will not be asked for supporting documents and encourages compassion from others. She says it’s impossible to know the personal circumstances of those we encounter.  Special Measures Order (Masks) Made pursuant to Section 28 of the

Public Health Protection and Promotion Act

 2.Exemptions. Notwithstanding Order No. 1 above, masks are not required for the following individuals or in the following circumstances:

  1. Children under the age of 5;
  2. People with physical or mental health conditions – People whose particular physical condition or mental health prevents them from wearing a mask
  3. During treatments, services or physical activity where a mask must be removed, for the duration of the treatment, service or activity only;
  4. Showing identification;
  5. Workplaces – Requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations, as well as any workplace specific health and safety plans, will continue to apply to workers. However, workers must wear their mask when they are in a publicly accessible lobby, reception area, hallway, stairway or elevator.
  6. Seated areas – Individuals seated in the following places, provided physical distancing of two metres can be achieved between individuals or bubbles and provided they wear a mask when moving around in these places:
  7. in the classrooms of a post-secondary educational institution,
  8. in a place where activities or services of a religious, cultural, or entertainment nature are offered, and c. in a restaurant, a food court, or a lounge

The best way of preventions from viruses hasn’t changed from what our parents have taught us from days ago.  Here is a poster from NLife×11.pdf.

Who Can Help?

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission is an independent government agency responsible for promoting and protecting human rights in the province.  We do this by:

  • Administering the Human Rights Act
  • Investigating and resolving human rights complaints
  • Giving legal information to individuals, groups and organizations who are concerned with human rights

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act protects people from discrimination and harassment based on certain protected (or prohibited) grounds. You are protected in Newfoundland and Labrador in the areas of work, education, housing, health care or in accessing any government or other public services. Examples of public services include stores, restaurants or bars, cabs or sports/gym facilities.

Application form can be found at this link thinkhumanrights

Phone: 709-729-2709  Toll-Free: 1-800-563-5808

E-mail: [email protected]

Free General Legal Advice

Legal Aid

Legal aid is a program available to help people with serious legal problems who are in financial need and cannot afford private counsel.

Download the online application or request one be emailed or mailed to you by emailing [email protected].

To apply for Legal Aid or to contact your already assigned lawyer, call the office nearest you. Click here for a list of telephone numbers.

Disclaimer:  This information is not intended to be used as legal or health advice. We encourage you to do your own research.