Human Rights & Duties
Protection From Retaliation
The Human Rights Code says no one can retaliate against someone because they:
- make a complaint or might make a complaint
- are named in a complaint or might be named in a complaint
- give evidence or help in a complaint, or might give evidence or help
- take part or might take part in an inquiry under the Code.
Examples of retaliation:
A manager punishes someone they think might file a complaint against the employer.
An employer refuses to hire someone they think is a “troublemaker”. The person filed a complaint against a former employer. This is the only reason the employer thinks they are a “troublemaker”.
What conduct is retaliation?
A complainant must show three things:
1. Bad treatment
Bad treatment is conduct like:
- discharging (firing)
- imposing a penalty
- denying a right or benefit
2. Respondent knowledge
At the time of the bad treatment, the respondent must know that the complainant:
- made a complaint or might make a complaint
- was named in a complaint or might be named in a complaint
- gave evidence or helped in a complaint, or might give evidence or help
- took part or might take part in an inquiry under the Code.
Examples:The respondent was at the hearing where the complainant testified.
The complainant told the respondent: “I am going to file a complaint.” Or, “You discriminated against me.”
3. Bad treatment because of the complaint or inquiry
- A complainant can prove this in two ways.
- A complainant must show the bad treatment is retaliation.
- Not all bad treatment is retaliation.
- First, they can prove that the respondent intended to retaliate.
- Second, they can prove that a reasonable complainant would see the bad treatment as retaliation, if they knew all the facts.
Examples:An employee files a complaint. They break a workplace rule. The employer disciplines them. This is not enough to show the discipline is retaliation.
The employee shows the employer wouldn’t usually discipline someone for breaking the rule. This could show retaliation.
Make a retaliation complaint
If you decide to file a complaint see File a Complaint.