Application to Dismiss Complaint: Complaint Against Individual Should Not Proceed

Information Sheet DA9

Under s. 27(1)(d)(ii) of the Human Rights Code, the Tribunal may dismiss a complaint if it determines that proceeding with the complaint would not further the purposes of the Code.

The purposes of the Code are set out in s. 3. They include preventing discrimination, providing remedies for discrimination, and promoting a society without barriers “to full and free participation in the economic, social, political and cultural life of British Columbia.”

The purposes of the Code may be met without a complaint proceeding against an individual respondent, if the institutional respondent takes responsibility for the conduct of the individual and is capable of providing any remedies the Tribunal might order, and a remedial order against the individual is not necessary, considering the nature of the alleged conduct.

Conditions for dismissal

For the Tribunal to dismiss a complaint against an individual under s. 27(1)(d)(ii) of the Code, you must show:

  1. The complaint is also against the institutional or corporate respondent who is responsible for the individual’s conduct

Institutional respondents are responsible for the conduct of their employees that is within the scope of their authority. The Tribunal will also consider whether the institutional respondent says it takes responsibility for the individual respondent’s conduct.

  1. The institutional respondent can fulfil any remedies that the Tribunal might order

The Tribunal will consider the institutional respondent’s financial and practical ability to fulfil any remedial order and whether it agrees to fulfil any remedial order the Tribunal might make if the complaint is found to be justified.

  1. Proceeding against the individual would not further the purposes of the Code

The Tribunal will consider the nature of the conduct alleged against the individual. It would normally further the purposes of the Code to proceed where:

  • the individual is alleged to have been the directing mind behind the discrimination alleged or to have had the ability to influence substantially the course of action taken
  • the individual’s conduct has a measure of individual culpability, such as an allegation of sexual harassment