4. Learn more about making a human rights claim

Can my union refuse to accommodate me in another position because someone has more seniority than me?
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4. Learn more about making a human rights claim

If you think a union has discriminated against you, you can apply to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Tribunal can decide if an employer or union has discriminated against you.

You should try to get legal advice before you decide to make an application. You can get free legal advice and information from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

You start the process by making an application to the Tribunal. In your application, you:

  • say what happened
  •  explain why you think the treatment you experienced was discrimination

The Tribunal has an Applicant’s Guide with detailed instructions.

After you file your application, the union will have a chance to respond. You may both choose to attend a mediation to try and resolve your issues. If you can’t resolve your issues, there will be a hearing where a Tribunal member will decide if you were discriminated against. The whole process can take over a year to complete.

Time limits

The deadline to apply to the Tribunal is one year from the date you were discriminated against.

It is very important that you file your application with the Tribunal within the one year period. If you miss the deadline, you can still apply, but you must explain why you're applying late. it is very rare for the Tribunal to accept a late application.

What the Tribunal can do

If the Tribunal decides that the union discriminated against you, they can order the union to:

  • pay you money to compensate for the discrimination
  • give you the accommodation you need
  • change its practices so they follow human rights laws

You can ask for money to cover costs that you had or replace money that you were forced to spend because of what the union did.

You can also ask for money because of how the union’s actions affected you. When a union does not respect your human rights, this can hurt you. The Tribunal can order the union to pay you money for the hurt they caused you. You don’t have to show that the union’s actions cost you money.

You May Also Need

Human Rights Legal Support Centre (HRLSC)
Ontario Human Rights Commission
Reviewed: June 11, 2018

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