The Law Society provides the legal profession in British Columbia with the services of an Equity Ombudsperson, who can assist with resolving concerns about discrimination and discriminatory harassment.

Who can contact the Equity Ombudsperson?

Lawyers, articled students, law students and support staff of legal employers are all free to contact the Equity Ombudsperson.

The service is voluntary, confidential and free to participants.

Who is the Equity Ombudsperson?

Claire Marchant is the Equity Ombudsperson. Claire is an employee of the Law Society of British Columbia in the Practice Advice department. Calls to her will remain strictly confidential, protected by the same measures that safeguard the confidentiality of all calls to Practice Advisors.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination may involve unwelcome comments or actions that relate to:

  • race
  • colour
  • ancestry
  • place of origin
  • political belief
  • religion
  • marital status
  • family status
  • physical impairment
  • mental health
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity or expression
  • age
  • conviction of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment or intended employment of that person.

It is the impact of the behaviour — not the intention behind it — that determines if the behaviour is discriminatory.

What is discriminatory harassment?

Discriminatory harassment can take many forms, including:

  • name-calling
  • racial slurs
  • religious jokes
  • sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex and may include:

  • unwanted touching, sexual flirtation, advances or propositions
  • leering
  • suggestive comments about a person's sexuality or sexual orientation
  • unwanted questions about a person's sex life
  • persistent unwanted contact or attention after the end of a consensual relationship.

What can the Equity Ombudsperson do to help?

  • Intake and advice: Receive inquiries, provide information and discuss options.
  • Mediation: Resolve concerns informally with the consent of both the complainant and respondent.
  • Reporting: Provide anonymized statistical reports on the incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment dealt with by the Equity Ombudsperson, as well as the proactive measures undertaken by the Equity Ombudsperson to prevent discrimination and discriminatory harassment in the legal profession.

 

Contact the Equity Ombudsperson

You can reach Equity Ombudsperson Claire Marchant at equity@lsbc.org, 604.605.5303.