Canada Employment and Immigration Union - https://ceiu-seic.ca/en/resources/human-rights/human-rights-grievances/

Human Rights Grievances

If you are discriminated against in a way that violates the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), you can file a grievance to address the problem. Should the problem not be resolved in the grievance process, the matter can be referred to an adjudicator for a binding decision. Cases dealing with discrimination can be complex and challenging, so members are urged to speak with their union representative for guidance.

The Canadian Human Rights Act sets out 11 prohibited grounds of discrimination:

3. (1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.

While grievances can be filed on the basis of one, or more, of these prohibited grounds, it must be noted that you cannot file a grievance dealing with the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

If your grievance is put before an adjudicator for a decision, the adjudicator has the authority to interpret and apply the Canadian Human Rights Act (except for matters relating to the right to equal pay for work of equal value). In addition, the adjudicator can order general and punitive damages in keeping with paragraphs 53(2)(e) and 53(3) of the CHRA which read:

53. (2) If at the conclusion of the inquiry the member or panel finds that the complaint is substantiated, the member or panel may, subject to section 54, make an order against the person found to be engaging or to have engaged in the discriminatory practice and include in the order any of the following terms that the member or panel considers appropriate:

(e) that the person compensate the victim, by an amount not exceeding twenty thousand dollars, for any pain and suffering that the victim experienced as a result of the discriminatory practice.

53. (3) In addition to any order under subsection (2), the member or panel may order the person to pay such compensation not exceeding twenty thousand dollars to the victim as the member or panel may determine if the member or panel finds that the person is engaging or has engaged in the discriminatory practice wilfully or recklessly.

See your union representative about the procedures involved with filing a grievance. Information about the grievance procedure is available here.

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