What can I do if I’ve been sexually harassed at work?

4. Learn about human rights complaints

The Human Rights Code says that employers and workers cannot discriminate against an employee or co-worker. Sexual harassment is a kind of . It's usually thought of as discrimination based on someone's sex or sexual orientation.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether you were discriminated against on the basis of sex. Your answers to these 2 questions can help you decide if you were:

  1. Was I treated differently than others at work?
  2. Was my sex or sexual orientation a reason why I was treated differently?

Most cases of sexual harassment are discrimination. That's because sexual harassment is someone treating you differently because of your sex or sexual orientation.

If you've been sexually harassed at work, you can complain to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. It does not matter whether you're still working at your job or not. You don't have to leave your job before you make a human rights complaint.

Making more than one claim

If you were forced to leave your job because you were sexually harassed at work, you can also make a claim for . This is explained in Step 3.

Usually, if you file a claim with the Human Rights Tribunal, you won't be able to also sue your employer in court for constructive dismissal.

If you want to make a human rights complaint and sue for constructive dismissal, you must go to court for both.

Making a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal

If you're making only a human rights complaint, you can complain directly to the Tribunal.

The Tribunal can order your employer to do things like:

  • pay you money
  • in rare cases, give you your job back if you were fired
  • organize training for your co-workers

Read more in How do I make a claim to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario? The Tribunal also has an Applicant’s Guide with detailed instructions.

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