The Human Rights Code protects people from retaliation for being involved in a complaint. It protects people because they:
- made a complaint or might make a complaint
- are named in a complaint or might be named in a complaint
- give evidence or help in some other way in a complaint, or might do so
It is not necessary that the respondent named in the retaliation complaint be the respondent in a previous complaint or possible future complaint. For example:
A manager punishes someone who they think might file a complaint against the employer.
An employer refuses to hire someone who filed a human rights complaint against a former employer, assuming that they are a “trouble maker”.
Everyone has a duty not to retaliate against someone because of their involvement or possible involvement in a complaint.
What conduct is retaliation?
A retaliation complaint must set out facts that, if proved, could be retaliation, against each person named as a respondent.
This means the complaint must include information showing:
- The respondent is aware of the complainant’s involvement in a previous complaint filed with the Tribunal or thinks they might become involved in a complaint.
For example, the respondent was at the hearing where the complainant testified.
For example, the complainant told the respondent that they were going to file a complaint or that the respondent’s conduct is discriminatory.
- The respondent engaged in or threatened to engage in retaliatory conduct.
The complaint must describe the conduct that the complainant says is retaliation.
For example, did the respondent evict, discharge, suspend, expel, intimidate, coerce, penalize, or deny a right or benefit?
- The respondent intended, or it is reasonable to perceive that the respondent’s conduct was intended, to retaliate for the complainant’s involvement in the previous complaint or possible complaint.
A person may think that they have been retaliated against, but a complaint must set out facts showing that the conduct could be retaliation.
For example, an employer is entitled to discipline an employee who has filed a complaint for conduct that breaks a workplace rule. But if the employer disciplines the complainant for conduct that would not normally be punished, that could be retaliation.
Make a retaliation complaint
If you decide to file a complaint see File a Complaint.