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    What should I do if someone files a complaint against me?

    If someone files a complaint against you, you are referred to as the ‘respondent’ in the Commission’s investigation.

    As a respondent, you will be informed in writing or by telephone that a complaint has been filed against you. You will be provided with the identity of the complainant and the substance of the complaint.

    You must then cooperate at every stage of the complaint process.

    • Your obligations as a respondent

      While the complaint is being evaluated
      (phase 1 of the investigation)

      You must:

      • provide the Commission with your version of events. This is your opportunity to express your point of view and provide your explanations.
      • provide the Commission with all requested information and documents.


      While the evidence is being gathered
      (phase 2 of the investigation)

      You must:

      • cooperate with the Commission’s investigation and respond to the investigator’s requests.


      When the Commission announces the results of its investigation and makes its decision


      If the complaint against you is upheld

      If the Commission finds sufficient evidence of discrimination, harassment or exploitation, you must:

      • comply with the corrective measures that the Commission proposes, such as:
      • reinstating the victim to their position
      • attending workshops on discrimination
      • paying financial compensation for harm suffered
      If you fail to comply with the corrective measures, then the Commission may take the case to the Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of the victim and in the public interest.

      If the complaint against you is dismissed

      If the Commission find that there is insufficient evidence of discrimination, harassment or exploitation, we will close the file. The Commission will mail you the reasons for the decision.


      If the Commission represents the victim before the Human Rights Tribunal

      During the hearing

      • You will have the opportunity to express your point of view, present evidence and call witnesses.
      • You may be represented by a lawyer (here, the lawyer’s role is not limited to giving you advice).

      Once the Tribunal has made a decision

      • If you disagree with the decision, you can present your case to the Court of Appeal.

      For more details, see the Human Rights Tribunal guide How to assert your rights.

    Reprisals are prohibited

    You can not cause physical, economic or any other problems for the person who filed a complaint against you. Doing so is called ‘reprisals’ and reprisals are prohibited by the Charter, so the person could file a complaint against you.

    Learn more about reprisals