How to handle employment discrimination

Ontario law states that every person has a right to freedom from discrimination in employment because of a disability.

  • Employment harassment because of an employee’s disability is prohibited.
  • Employment decisions (e.g. recruitment, hiring, training, promotion) should be based on merit (criteria related to job performance).
  • Employment application forms may not ask questions regarding physical health.

If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed, you may complain to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

1. File a complaint may be filed by contacting the nearest office of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

  • Human Rights Officers are available to discuss the problem.
  • Please note: The OHRC has the discretion to refuse to deal with a complaint if the facts upon which the complaint was based occurred more than six months before the complaint was filed.

2. The OHRC will conduct an investigation by the Commission follows, sometimes resulting in an early settlement to which both parties agree. If the complaint cannot be settled, a report is prepared for Commission review.

3. The Commission may

  • resolve the complaint (If this is unsuccessful, the OHRC may dismiss the complaint or send it to a Human Rights Tribunal.),
  • appoint a conciliator, or
  • send the complaint to a Human Rights Tribunal. The Tribunal reviews the complaint, makes a decision and orders a settlement. Both parties may accept this decision or appeal it.

4. If the parties choose to appeal, the Federal Court hears the appeal and makes a decision. If both parties still do not accept this decision and appeal, the Supreme Court makes the final decision.

If you have a question or think you have cause for complaint, you may contact the OHRC.

Ontario Human Rights Commission
180 Dundas Street West, 8th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 2R9
416-314-4561 fax
800-387-9080 (toll free)
TTY Access:
800-308-5561 (Ontario)
800-309-1129 (416 and 905 exchanges)
Email [email protected]

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