I was discriminated against. What are my options?
If you've been discriminated against and you want to do something about it, you may have many legal options. Choosing your best legal option is an important first step.
There is no single answer for every case. So you need to think about and choose your legal option carefully.
Sometimes the situation you experienced discrimination in, may help decide your legal option. For example:
- If you are discriminated against as a tenant, you can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board.
- If you are discriminated against as a unionized employee, you can file a complaint with your . Unions usually call this a .
- If you are discriminated against as a non-unionized employee, you can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour.
- If you were discriminated against by a professional, you can submit a complaint to the organization responsible for disciplining that person. For example, the College of Physicians and Surgeons for a complaint about a doctor or the Office of the Independent Police Review Director for a complaint about a police officer.
Other common legal options include:
- Applying to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO)
- Filing a law suit at Small Claims Court if your claim is less than $35,000, or at Superior Court if your claim is more than $35,000
- Making a criminal complaint to the police
Most legal options have specific deadlines. If you don't submit your claim in time, you may not be able to use that option. For example, if you want to apply to the HRTO, you have to do that within 1 year of when the discrimination happened. But in some cases you can ask for an extension to the deadline.
It's a good idea to consider your options as early as possible so you meet the deadline.
Choosing the right option can be hard. There are pros and cons to each choice. Sometimes if you choose one option, you cannot try any other option later.
It's usually a good idea to get advice from a lawyer before deciding which option is best for you.