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How do I make a claim against my employer to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario?
If an employer discriminates against you in a way that goes against Ontario's human rights laws, you might be able to make a claim against the employer. You do this with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
The Tribunal could order the employer to pay you money or give you a job. But they don't usually order the employer to give you back your job if you were fired.
Discrimination that is against human rights laws
Employers aren't allowed to discriminate for reasons that go against human rights laws.
This means that, in most cases, an employer can't decide not to hire you, treat you unfairly, or fire you because of:
- your race, colour, ancestry, ethnic origin, citizenship, or where you were born
- your religious beliefs
- a physical or mental disability, including an addiction
- having children, planning to have children, or being pregnant
- your marital status, for example, married, divorced, single, or living common-law
- your sex or gender
- your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression
- your age if you are at least 18
- being convicted of a crime if you have a pardon or record suspension
Rules that discriminate
Some employers say they have rules that apply to everyone. But this might be discrimination if the reason you can't meet the rules goes against your human rights.
For example, an employer might have a dress code that applies to everyone. But they might have to let you dress differently if you wear something for religious reasons.
The deadline to apply to the Tribunal is one year from the date you were discriminated against.
If you miss the deadline, you can still apply. But in your application, you need to explain why you're applying late. If you have a good reason, for example, you couldn't apply because you were in the hospital, the Tribunal can decide to let you apply late.
But it’s difficult to convince the Tribunal to let you apply late. If you’ve missed the deadline, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible.