Application to Dismiss Complaint: Complaint Appropriately Dealt With in Another Proceeding

Information Sheet DA12

Conditions for dismissal: section 27(1)(f) of the Human Rights Code

For the Tribunal to dismiss a complaint on the basis that the substance of the complaint has been appropriately dealt with in another proceeding, you must show:

  1. There was another proceeding with authority to decide human rights issues

A “proceeding” is a formal system of resolving disputes, for example, a process under a statute, a court process, and a grievance process under a collective agreement.

Grievance arbitrators have authority to decide human rights issues.

Many processes in British Columbia do not have authority to decide human rights issues, including Residential Tenancy, and Employment Standards. The Tribunal may consider the facts found in such processes, but such bodies cannot determine whether discrimination has occurred.

While the courts do not have authority to hear human rights complaints, the courts have authority over matters that may deal with the same issue in a complaint, such as harassment resulting in a complainant leaving their employment.

  1. The issue in the other proceeding is essentially the same as the issue in the complaint

A respondent must show that the same issues in the complaint were dealt with in the other proceeding, by giving the Tribunal a copy of the document starting the other proceeding, the final decision, or other documents to show this.

  1. Were the issues appropriately dealt with?

Usually issues are resolved in a decision, but sometimes the parties resolve the human rights issue by settling the matter in the other proceeding.

The Tribunal does not consider whether it agrees with the result or findings made in the other proceeding. Those must be challenged in the review or appeal process applicable to that proceeding.

The Tribunal does not consider whether the other proceeding is similar to the Tribunal process, but it must be satisfied that the complainant (or their union) addressed or had an opportunity to address the allegation of discrimination in the other proceeding.