Complaint process

Steps in the human rights complaint process

Look at a chart of the Tribunal’s process or read about the steps. Note: The chart shows that the parties attend early mediation and then a response is filed. Currently, the Tribunal schedules early mediation and requires the respondent to file a response to the complaint.

Make a complaint

The complaint process starts when someone makes a complaint. A person must fill out a complaint form and deliver it to the Tribunal within the time limit. More than 1,100 complaints are made each year. Learn more about making a complaint


The Tribunal reviews the complaint and decides whether or not to proceed with it. The Tribunal will check if the complaint was filed within the time limit. The Tribunal only processes complaints that contain a possible act of discrimination. Each year over 300 new complaints are rejected because they do not have this required information.  


If the Tribunal decides to proceed with a complaint, it notifies the respondent.


The Tribunal may defer a complaint if another proceeding can appropriately address the complaint. An example is a union grievance about the same situation. Learn more on how to defer a complaint


The Tribunal provides a mediator to help the parties try to resolve the complaint themselves. More than 500 complaints are resolved by settlement each year. Learn more about mediation


The respondent responds to the complaint in writing. Learn more about responding to a complaint


The parties exchange documents. Learn more about disclosure

Application to dismiss the complaint

Read the Case Path Pilot before you apply to dismiss a complaint. It sets new requirements.

The respondent may apply to dismiss the complaint without a hearing. Learn more about applying to dismiss a complaint. The Tribunal deals with more than 200 applications to dismiss each year. It dismisses more than 100 complaints without a hearing each year.


The Tribunal holds a hearing. Very few complaints go to a hearing. In the last few years, an average of 40 complaints were resolved after a hearing each year. Learn about getting ready for a hearing