5. Learn more about making a human rights claim

Can my employer tell me what to wear at work?
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5. Learn more about making a human rights claim

If you think your employer has discriminated against you, you can apply to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre or a community legal clinic can also help you to make a claim to the Tribunal

The Tribunal can decide if an employer has discriminated against you. It is important to understand the steps in making a claim at the Tribunal. In your application, you:

  • say what happened
  • explain why you think your employer’s dress code rules are against your human rights

You can also learn more about starting a claim in How to complete an Application form to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

When you file your application, your employer will have a chance to respond. You may both decide 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.

What the Tribunal can do

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

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

The Tribunal can but usually does not order an employer to give you back your job.

You can ask the Tribunal to replace money that you were forced to spend because of what your employer did.

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

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 accept a late application.

You May Also Need

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

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