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If someone causes you physical, psychological, emotional or financial problems because you have filed a complaint or cooperated with a Commission investigation, this is called reprisals.

Examples of reprisals:

  • After filing a complaint with the Commission, the respondent threatens to sue you in an attempt to intimidate you and get revenge.
  • After participating in an investigation as a witness, you lose your job because you testified against your employer.

Reprisals are prohibited by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. 

  • you do not have to accept reprisals
  • you cannot take reprisals against others

Reprisals cannot be taken by or against anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in a Commission case, including: 

  • complainants
  • witnesses
  • respondents
  • Teresa


    Teresa filed a complaint before the Commission because she felt she had been fired from her job as a waitress because of her age. During the course of the case, the employer agreed to settle out of court and paid Teresa $3,000 in compensation. 

    One year later, Teresa was interviewed for a waitressing job in another restaurant. The owner of the restaurant agreed to hire her, and gave her a schedule for the following weeks. Two days later, Teresa received a call informing her she no longer had the job. Her former employer, who was contacted by the restaurant owner in order to obtain a reference, had strongly advised him not to hire her claiming she had cost him dearly.

  • Madeleine


    Marie-Madeleine has been singing in a choir for 5 years. During preparations for an important concert at Place des Arts, she told her music director that she was pregnant. The latter replied that this would jeopardize her participation in the concert. Marie-Madeleine said she intended to continue singing until her eighth month of pregnancy. A few weeks later, the choir director wrote to Marie-Madeleine informing her that she was not among the singers selected for the concert. 

    Marie-Madeleine filed a complaint before the Commission alleging discrimination based on pregnancy. Following the birth of her child and while the case was still pending, Marie-Madeleine informed the choir director that she wished to return to the choir. She was told that new singers had been hired and that, for the time being, the choir was at full capacity.

What can you do in cases of reprisals?

Do you believe you have experienced reprisals? Confirm whether you can file a complaint with the Commission.

File a complaint

This video explains reprisals in American Sign Language (ASL)