My parents help run a christian camp and my sister has been hired to be a camp counsellor this year. Today my sister confided in me that when she was hired she had to sign a contract stating she would not do a lot of things outside of camp, including having premarital sex or engaging in homosexual activities (click here and go to page 5 to see the part of the contract I am talking about). My sister is upset because she can't stay at her boyfriend's overnight because my parents assume that she would have sex (even though she has stated time and time again that she wants to wait until marriage) and she cannot lie to my parents no matter what (because of the god thing). My dad has informed her that since he is her boss that he has grounds to fire her if he suspects her of having premarital sex.
Our discrimination laws state that human rights laws across Canada prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals in hiring, firing, or the terms and conditions of employment because of certain personal characteristics (unless it is for a valid job requirement). Would these specifications on the contract be considered a valid job requirement since it is a Christian camp? How legal or illegal is this contract? Is there anything I can do? Any other thoughts?

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Comment by Brianna Starfish on July 31, 2011 at 6:41pm

@Darren, my issue isn't really the one my sister has with my parents. It's been an ongoing thing for awhile. My issue is with the contract itself. Thank you for your suggestions! 


@Cliff, I have no intentions of having anybody sue anyone! :)

Comment by Darren Taggart on July 31, 2011 at 1:21am
This sort of nuttiness must be very frustrating; how old is your sister? I'm not expert in Canadian law but she would be around children, so they can probably require certain behaviours since the parents might be similarly crazy.
What is it that she wants? To stay at her boyfriend's house? If she's under your age of consent then your parents probably can stop her staying there. If she's older than that she could leave home and move in with him?
If she doesn't like camp contract she should stand by her principles and not take the job. Unless she wants to sue her own parents it'll probably end up as like it or lump it.
If she did want to sue them, then the court would require her to have at least discussed her issues with them first anyway so that's probably the best thing for her to do. Get her to sit down with them and state what she wants and see if you can't reach a compromise on the things that are important to each side.
Remember that your parents are doing these things because they love her, and are doing what they think is best for her; you don't want to end up in court.
You should write to your local MP/family lawyer and ask them to clarify the law for you - the MP will be cheaper.
Good luck with it though! X



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