Human Rights

The Human Rights Code of Ontario is the law that protects you against discrimination. It deals with many areas of your life, including housing, employment, using services, goods & facilities, entering into contracts and membership in trade unions and professional organizations.

Discrimination is when someone treats you unfairly because of who you are. Landlords, employers, and others cannot discriminate (with some exceptions) because of:

  •     Race
  •     Colour
  •     Ancestry
  •     Place of origin
  •     Citizenship
  •     Ethnic origin
  •     Creed (religion)
  •     Receipt of social assistance (housing only)
  •     Sexual orientation
  •     Marital status
  •     Family status
  •     Record of offenses (employment only, must have been pardoned)
  •     Age
  •     Disability
  •     Sex (includes being pregnant, sexual harassment)
  •     Gender identity
  •     Gender expression

If you think you have experienced discrimination, you can make a complaint. You must file an “application” with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. The application asks you to explain what happened to you and why you feel it is a violation of the Code. The Tribunal will try to help you settle the matter through “mediation”. Mediation is a meeting with you and the person you have complained about. A person called a mediator tries to help you work through the complaint. If it cannot be settled at mediation, you will have a hearing at the Tribunal and a decision will be made. If you are not satisfied with the decision, it may be possible to take the matter to court. You will want to get legal advice to do so.

 Contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre for more information