Human Rights

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Ontario's Human Rights Code protects people in Ontario against discrimination in areas such as jobs, housing and services. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and the Ontario Human Rights Commission make up the province's human rights system.

General information about Ontario's human rights system.

About Human Rights

What are my human rights?

What is discrimination?

  • Discrimination generally means treating someone unfairly based on things like:
    • Race
    • Colour
    • Religion or creed
    • National or ethnic origin
    • Citizenship
    • Age
    • Sex
    • Physical or mental disability
    • Sexual orientation
    • Marital or family status
  • Discrimination can be direct or indirect. More…

What is harassment?

  • Harassment refers to comments or actions that are unwelcome. Every person has the right to be free from humiliating or annoying behaviour. More…

What does the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario do?

  • The Tribunal's mandate is to resolve applications brought under the Ontario Human Rights Code. More…

What does the Human Rights Legal Support Centre do?

  • The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides legal services to people who believe they have been discriminated against. More…

What does the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) do?

  • The OHRC provides leadership for the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights, and builds partnerships across the human rights system. More…

Is the Ontario Human Rights Code the only human rights law that applies to people in Ontario?

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out the rights and freedoms that Canadians believe are necessary in a free and democratic society. More…
  • In employment, several laws may apply at the same time as the Code, with overlapping or parallel responsibilities. Knowing which laws apply and why they apply will help employers know how best to handle the relationship between employment law and human rights law. More…

What is the Canadian Human Rights Commission?

  • The Canadian Human Rights Commission investigates and settles discrimination complaints under the Canadian Human Rights Act, in federally regulated jobs and services. More…

Do other provincial and territorial human rights laws affect me?

  • Each province and territory has its own human rights laws and processes for enforcing them. There are a number of federal departments and organizations with human rights responsibilities that may affect you. More…

Making a Discrimination Claim

I think I have been discriminated against, what do I do?

  • You must file an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Their website has an Applicant's Guide, Respondent's Guide, Plain Language Guide, and the Rules of Procedure Governing Part IV Applications. More…
  • You can also call the Tribunal toll-free at 1-866-598-0322

How can I find out about my existing discrimination complaint at the Human Rights Tribunal Of Ontario?

  • To find out about the status of your claim, you can call the Tribunal toll-free at 1-866-598-0322.

How do I file a new discrimination application under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

  • You must file an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. Their website has an Applicant's Guide, Respondent's Guide, Plain Language Guide, and the Rules of Procedure Governing Part IV Applications. More…
  • You can also call the Tribunal toll-free at 1-866-598-0322

How can I find the discrimination application form?

  • The Tribunal's application form consists of a main application that all applicants must fill out, plus one or more supplemental forms. More…

Is there an application guide that can help me?

  • Yes. You can read each part of this guide as you fill out your application. More…

Can I get help to fill out the form?

  • Yes. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides legal help to people in communities across Ontario who believe they have been discriminated against, and may want to file an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. More…

Do I need a lawyer to file a discrimination application?

  • You can have a lawyer or a paralegal represent you, or you can represent yourself in a discrimination application.

How do I find a lawyer or a paralegal?

Respondents

I have had a human rights application brought against me. Where can I get information for respondents?

  • The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario's Respondent's Guide can help you fill out your Response Form. More…
  • If you have been named, either personally or on behalf of your company, in a human rights case at the Ontario Human Rights Commission you may be affected by changes to the system. More…

Public Information About Human Rights

Where can I get public education information on human rights?

  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission engages in a wide range of educational activities and partnership initiatives, such as public awareness campaigns, presentations, workshops and conferences. More…

I would like someone to speak to my group about human rights.

  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission has staff available to speak at public events or to provide educational sessions in Ontario. More…

I am a high school teacher and would like material for teaching human rights in Ontario.

  • Teaching Human Rights in Ontario is an educational package developed by the Ontario Human Rights Commission to be used by teachers in Ontario schools to teach their students about the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the work of the Commission. More…

What are systemic issues of discrimination?

  • Discrimination can result from individual behaviour as well as the unintended and often unconscious consequences of a discriminatory system. This is known as systemic discrimination. More…

Other Laws Applying at the Same Time as the Code

Are there other laws that also apply in the workplace?

  • The Canadian Human Rights Act applies to workplaces that fall within federal legislative authority. More…
  • The Employment Standards Act is an Ontario law that sets out certain minimum rights to which employees are entitled in the workplace. More…
  • The Labour Relations Act covers unionized workplaces. Its purpose is to ensure the right to organize, encourage collective bargaining, promote good labour relations and provide for effective and fair dispute resolution. More…
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act outlines requirements and responsibilities in relation to occupational health and safety. More…
  • The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act covers injuries in employment related accidents. More…
  • The purpose of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act is to improve opportunities for people with disabilities. More…
  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act develops, implements and enforces accessibility standards in order to make Ontario barrier-free for Ontarians with disabilities. More…
  • The Ontario Building Code governs the construction of new buildings and the renovation and maintenance of existing buildings. More…
  • The Pay Equity Act requires that jobs be evaluated and work mostly or traditionally done by women be compared to work mostly or traditionally done by men. More…
  • Disclaimer

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