Complaints process

Steps of the complaints process

This diagram is interactive: by clicking on the links, you will access the details of each step at the bottom of the page. You can also download and print this version (PDF, 232 Ko)

CAN THE COMMISSION INTERVENE?

 
If the Commission can intervene.

yes

DOES THE COMMISSION DECIDE TO INTERVENE?

 
If, following a detailed assessment, the Commission decides not to intervene.

no

YOUR FILE IS CLOSED

 
If, following a detailed assessment, the Commission decides to intervene.

yes

DO BOTH PARTIES AGREE TO SETTLE OUT OF COURT?

 
If both parties do not agree to either settle out of court.

no

If both parties agree, mediation is available.

yes

MEDIATION
 
Parties try to reach an agreement. 

HAVE BOTH PARTIES COME TO AN AGREEMENT?

 
If both parties reach an agreement.

yes

YOUR FILE IS CLOSED

 
If both parties have not reach an agreement.

no

INVESTIGATION - PHASE 2
THE SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE
 
Next step. 
DECISION OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE
 
Two results are possible either there is insufficient evidence to support the complaint or, the evidence is sufficient. 
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE
 
Next step. 

YOUR FILE IS CLOSED

 

SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

 
When the evidence is sufficient, two options are available, either corrective measures are suggested or a decision to possibly represent the complainant before the Tribunal. 
CORRECTIVE MEASURES ARE SUGGESTED
 
Next step. 

HAVE THE CORRECTIVE MEASURES BEEN RESPECTED?

 
If the corrective measures have been respected.

yes

YOUR FILE IS CLOSED

 
If the corrective measures have not been respected.

no

 

Detailed information about the steps

RECEIPT OF THE COMPLAINT

  • We only receive your complaint if it is sent to us in writing (letter, email or form) AND signed. If you are sending it by email, please attach a PDF document with your signature.
  • You can contact us to find out how to make your complaint and how to send it to us, in writing (plainte@cdpdj.qc.ca) or by phone (1-800-361-6477).
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OPENING OF YOUR FILE

  • A member of the Reception and Assessment Department will contact you to open your file. This person receives your complaint, collects the information, and determines whether, on the face of it, the Commission has the competence to intervene.
  • If the Commission has the competence to intervene, your file is transferred to the first phase of the investigation (the evaluation).
  • If the Commission does not have jurisdiction, your file is closed. You will be redirected to another agency that can help you (such as: the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de santé et de la sécurité au travail; the Régie du logement; a union, etc.)
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PHASE 1 OF THE INVESTIGATION: ASSESSMENT OF YOUR COMPLAINT

  • A member of the Assessment Department will:
    • contact you to make sure that all the relevant information is included in your complaint.
    • notifiy the respondent that a complaint has been filed against him or her
    • enquire whether you and the respondent (both parties) are interested in resolving the issue amicably by mediation.
  • If both parties agree to go to mediation, your  file is transferred to a mediator. If one or both parties refuse mediation, the file is transferred to an investigator.
  • The Commission may, for various reasons, decide not to intervene at this stage. For example, because another recourse was filed based on the same facts or the prescribed period for filing a complaint has expired, etc). Your file is then closed.
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MEDIATION

  • Mediation only takes place if both parties have agreed to it.
  • A mediator contacts both parties, and helps you find common ground.
  • When the parties do find common ground, a memorandum of agreement is prepared and signed. Your file is then closed.
  • If the parties cannot find common ground, the file is transferred to an investigator.
  • The parties may request that the case be settled amicably through mediation at any time during the process, even an investigation is under way.
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PHASE 2 OF THE INVESTIGATION: THE SEARCH FOR EVIDENCE

  • This phase of the investigation only takes place if one or both parties do not wish to go to mediation OR if you were not able to find common ground during mediation.
  • An investigator collects the evidence (such as: testimonies, documents, and reports). The purpose of its investigation is to verify if your complaint is supported by sufficient evidence.
  • The parties may request that the case be settled amicably through mediation even when an investigation is under way.
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DECISION OF THE COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE

  • The findings of the investigation are submitted to the Complaints Committee made up of three members.
  • The Committee assesses whether there is sufficient evidence to support your complaint and makes a decision on your file.
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INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO CLOSE YOUR FILE

  • If the Complaints Committee believes that there is insufficient evidence to support the complaint, your file is closed.
  • The Commission explains the reasons for this decision to the parties in a resolution.
  • Even if the Commission closes your file, you can choose to bring the case before a civil court (Small Claims Court, Court of Québec or the Superior Court) at your own expense. You have 90 days to file this action. This period (called prescription) begins at the date you receive the Commission's notice of closure of your file.
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SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO NOT REPRESENT YOU BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL

  • The Complaints Committee may exercise its discretion not to refer the case to a tribunal even if there is sufficient evidence to support your complaint. For example, if the issue does not raise any complex legal or factual questions, and the parties are able to represent themselves before the tribunal
  • Each file is assessed according to the circumstances of the case.
  • The Commission provides the reasons for this decision to the parties in the form of a written resolution.
  • Even if the Commission closes your file, you can choose to bring the case before the Human Rights Tribunal  This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window. at your own expense. You have 90 days to file this action. This period (called prescription) begins at the date you receive the Commission's notice of closure of your file.
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SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: CORRECTIVE MEASURES ARE SUGGESTED

  • If the Complaints Committee believes that there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint, it may recommend corrective measures to the respondent. For example, reinstate an employee, order that a person attend an anti-discrimination awareness program, or recommend material, moral and punitive damages.
  • The respondent is given a specified period of time in order to implement corrective measures.
  • If the respondent complies with the corrective measures, your file is closed.
  • If the respondent does not comply with the corrective measures, the Complaints Committee may mandates the Commission to apply to a court on your behalf.
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SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE: DECISION TO APPLY TO THE TRIBUNAL ON YOUR BEHALF

  • If the respondent does not comply with the corrective measures, the Commission applies to the Human Rights Tribunal  This link will redirect you to an external Website in a new window. on your behalf to seek appropriate measures.
  • A Commission lawyer represents you before the court. Legal representation is free of charge.
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