Application to Dismiss Complaint: Complaint Filed After the Time Limit

Information Sheet DA13

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

For the Tribunal to dismiss a complaint under s. 27(1)(g) of the Code, you must show:

  1. The complaint is filed after the time limit.
  2. The complainant has not shown that it is in the public interest to accept the late-filed complaint and that no one would be substantially prejudiced because of the delay.

Information about the time limit

A complaint is filed after the time limit if all the conduct complained about happened more that 6 months before the complaint was filed.

Part of a complaint is filed after the time limit if some of the conduct happened more than 6 months before the complaint was filed and that conduct is not part of a “continuing contravention” with the conduct in the part of the complaint filed within the six month time limit.

A “continuing contravention” involves repeated or similar conduct, so long as there are not significant gaps in time between events. Examples include on-going sexual harassment, an on-going failure to accommodate, or the repeated application of a discriminatory policy. The fact that a respondent maintains its position about an issue in a complaint or that conduct has on-going consequences does not mean it is a continuing contravention.

Whether a complaint is filed after the time limit is based on the conduct alleged in the complaint. Review STEPs 3 and 4A of the complaint form to determine:

  • The dates of the conduct complained about
  • If the complainant says there is a continuing contravention and why they say there is one

Information about when the Tribunal may allow a late-filed complaint to proceed

If the Tribunal agrees that the complaint (or part of it) is filed after the time limit, it may allow the complaint to proceed if the complainant persuades the Tribunal that it is in the public interest to accept the late filed complaint and that no one would be substantially prejudiced the delay.

Review STEP 4B of the complaint form to see the complainant’s reasons why the Tribunal should accept the complaint.

Note: If the Tribunal has already decided to accept the late-filed complaint after seeking submissions from the parties, that decision is final and you cannot apply to dismiss the complaint under s. 27(1)(g).