Substance Law Logo

Bringing a claim to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) is an important step in seeking justice for discrimination, harassment, or other violations of human rights. The OHRT is a quasi-judicial body that has the authority to hear and decide cases related to discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, and services. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment, it is important to understand the process and steps required to bring a claim to the OHRT.

Understanding the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

What is the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal?

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) is an independent adjudicative body that has the mandate to resolve human rights disputes in Ontario, Canada. The OHRT was established under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) which prohibits discrimination and harassment on several grounds, including race, gender, religion, age, and disability, among others.

The OHRT is responsible for interpreting and applying the OHRC, which is a provincial law that sets out the rights and responsibilities of individuals and organizations in Ontario. The OHRC aims to promote and advance human rights and to prevent discrimination and harassment in various areas of life, including employment, housing, and services.

Jurisdiction and Scope of the Tribunal

The OHRT has jurisdiction over claims related to discrimination and harassment in employment, housing, and services. This means that if you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed based on one or more of the grounds protected under the OHRC, you can bring a claim to the OHRT.

The OHRT has the power to hear and decide cases, make orders, and award remedies. The remedies that the OHRT may order include compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect, as well as orders to stop the discriminatory or harassing behaviour and to prevent it from happening in the future.

The OHRT also has the power to dismiss a claim if it determines that there is no reasonable prospect that the claim will succeed. In addition, the OHRT may dismiss a claim if it determines that the claim is frivolous, vexatious, or made in bad faith.

The OHRT is committed to providing a fair, accessible, and timely process for resolving human rights disputes. The OHRT encourages parties to resolve their disputes through mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, where appropriate. If a dispute cannot be resolved through these methods, the OHRT will hold a hearing to decide the matter.

In conclusion, the OHRT plays a crucial role in protecting and promoting human rights in Ontario. By providing a forum for resolving human rights disputes, the OHRT helps to ensure that individuals and organizations are held accountable for their actions, and that victims of discrimination and harassment are able to seek justice and obtain remedies.

Grounds for Filing a Human Rights Claim

Human rights are an essential part of our society, and they protect people from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination and harassment can occur in various areas of life, such as employment, housing, and services and facilities. If you have been a victim of discrimination or harassment, you have the right to file a human rights claim. This article will discuss the different grounds for filing a human rights claim.

Discrimination in Employment

Employment is one of the most common areas where discrimination occurs. If you have been denied employment, promotion, or training, or if you have been paid less than others because of your race, colour, religion, sex, age, marital status, or disability, you may have a claim for discrimination in employment.

For example, if you are a woman and were denied a promotion because the employer believes that women are not fit for the job, you may have a claim for discrimination in employment. Similarly, if you have a disability and were not hired because the employer believes that you cannot perform the job, you may have a claim for discrimination in employment.

Discrimination in Housing

Discrimination in housing occurs when a person is denied the right to purchase or rent a home because of their race, ancestry, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. If you have been denied the right to purchase or rent a home because of any of these grounds, you may have a claim for discrimination in housing.

For example, if you are a person with a disability and were denied the right to rent an apartment because the landlord believes that you will damage the property, you may have a claim for discrimination in housing. Similarly, if you are a person of colour and were denied the right to purchase a home in a particular neighbourhood because of your race, you may have a claim for discrimination in housing.

Discrimination in Services and Facilities

Discrimination in services and facilities occurs when a person is denied access to services or facilities such as a bank, hospital, restaurant, or school because of their race, ancestry, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. If you have been denied access to services or facilities because of any of these grounds, you may have a claim for discrimination in services and facilities.

For example, if you are a person with a disability and were denied access to a restaurant because the restaurant is not wheelchair accessible, you may have a claim for discrimination in services and facilities. Similarly, if you are a person of a particular religion and were denied access to a bank because of your religion, you may have a claim for discrimination in services and facilities.

Harassment and Retaliation

Harassment and retaliation are also grounds for filing a human rights claim. Harassment occurs when a person is subjected to unwanted comments, conduct, or behaviour that is offensive, disrespectful, or creates a hostile environment. Retaliation occurs when a person is punished or treated unfairly because they asserted their human rights.

For example, if you are a person of colour and were subjected to racial slurs by a co-worker, you may have a claim for harassment. Similarly, if you are a person with a disability and were fired because you asked for an accommodation, you may have a claim for retaliation.

In conclusion, if you have been a victim of discrimination or harassment, you have the right to file a human rights claim. Human rights are essential for protecting individuals from discrimination and harassment in various areas of life, such as employment, housing, and services and facilities.

Preparing to File a Claim

Filing a claim can be a complex process, but being well-prepared can make all the difference. If you believe that your human rights have been violated, it is important to take the necessary steps to file a claim with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT). Here are some important things to keep in mind as you prepare to file your claim:

Gathering Evidence and Documentation

One of the most important things you can do to support your claim is to gather as much evidence and documentation as possible. This may include emails, letters, text messages, witnesses, and other materials that are relevant to your claim. It is important to keep these materials organized and easily accessible, so that you can provide them to the OHRT as needed.

In addition to gathering evidence, it is also important to keep a detailed record of any incidents of discrimination or harassment that you have experienced. This can include the date and time of the incident, what was said or done, and the names of any witnesses who were present.

Identifying the Respondent

Another important step in preparing to file a claim is identifying the individual or organization that you believe has violated your human rights. This may include your employer, a housing provider, or a service provider. It is important to be as specific as possible when identifying the respondent, as this will help the OHRT to understand the nature of your claim.

Understanding Time Limits for Filing

Finally, it is important to be aware of the time limits for filing a claim with the OHRT. You must file your application within one year from the date of the last incident of discrimination or harassment. If you miss this deadline, your claim may be dismissed.

Keep in mind that filing a claim with the OHRT can be a lengthy and complex process. However, with the right preparation and support, you can take steps to protect your human rights and seek justice for any violations that you have experienced.

Filing the Application

Completing the Application Form

Once you have gathered evidence and identified the respondent, you can complete the application form on the OHRT website, or on paper. The form will ask you to provide details about yourself, the respondent, and the discrimination or harassment that you have experienced. Be sure to provide as much detail as possible to support your claim.

Submitting the Application

Once you have completed the application form, you can submit it to the OHRT. You must ensure that you have included all relevant information and supporting documents with your application.

What to Expect After Filing

After your application has been received, the OHRT will assign a file number and send a copy of your application to the respondent. The respondent will have an opportunity to respond to your application and provide their own evidence. The OHRT may schedule a mediation session to help resolve the dispute between the parties. If mediation is unsuccessful, a hearing will be scheduled where both parties can present their evidence and arguments. The OHRT will make a decision based on the evidence and arguments presented.

In conclusion, if you believe you have experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, it is important to bring a claim to the OHRT. This process can be complex and time-consuming, but with careful preparation and a strong case, you can seek justice for yourself and ensure that human rights are protected in Ontario.

We Serve Those In The Following Industries… And More! Cannabis • Psychedelics • Vaping • Liquor • Tobacco • Excise Duty • Food & Drugs • NHPs • Money Services Businesses (MSBs), AML & FINTRAC • Crypto • NFTs.


Contact Our Law Practice Now

Book 30-Min Consultation

Book 60-Min Consultation


NOTE: May include referrals to vetted third party law firms, consultants, and other parties.

Please note we also retain the services of lawyers experienced in different areas on a contract basis.

Our Law Firm is Headed by Lawyer Harrison Jordan

Harrison Jordan, Lawyer at Substance Law