Complaint or request for intervention process
Charter complaint process
Complaints of discrimination, harassment, exploitation or reprisals are processed according to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Staff members of the Commission explain the complaint process.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (1-800 361-6477).
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.)
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.
- 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.
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.
Decision of the complaints commitee
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 on your behalf to seek appropriate measures.
- A Commission lawyer represents you before the court. Legal representation is free of charge.
Request for intervention process
You can request intervention by writing to us at email@example.com or by calling 1 800 361 6477 and choosing option 3.
ADMISSIBILITY AND TRANSFER
Your request will be received by a reception and admissibility worker, who will do a preliminary assessment of whether the Commission has jurisdiction in the matter and then contact you.
If the Commission does have jurisdiction, we will open a case for the child and transfer it to one of our youth protection investigators.
A case will not be opened with the Commission if:
- we do not have the jurisdiction to intervene. In this case, the person who contacts you can refer you to the correct organization (e.g., your local complaints commissioner or a users’ committee).
- the matter is already before the Court of Québec Youth Division
Next, an investigator will contact you.
You will go over your request together, and the investigator will ask for any information that is still needed.
Then, the investigator will contact the person who your request is about to inform them that a request for intervention has been made and to see how the situation can be corrected.
- If the situation is corrected, the Commission will confirm this and then close the file.
- If the situation cannot be corrected, the investigator will continue to investigate and gather evidence.
When the investigation is complete, the findings will be transferred to our Investigation Committee. The Investigation Committee is made up of three members of the Commission, who will make one of two possible decisions in the case:
- Insufficient evidence. If the Committee does not find sufficient evidence that a young person’s rights are being violated, the case will be closed.
- Sufficient evidence. If the Committee finds sufficient evidence that a young person’s rights are being violated, it will make recommendations to the individuals or organizations responsible:
- to put an end to the behaviour
- to correct the situation so that the violation of rights cannot happen again.
- to put an end to the behaviour
The Commission may take the matter to court if its recommendations are not followed on time.