by Brian Smeenk
On June 30, 2008, new human rights legislation in Ontario came into force. The new regime radically changes the way in which human rights complaints are dealt with in Ontario. Employers, employees, and unions are watching closely to see how well the new system works.
1. Complainants given direct access to tribunal
Prior to June 30, 2008, complaints in Ontario were made to the Human Rights Commission. From there, the Commission mediated and investigated complaints. At the end of that process, which took four to five years in many cases, the Commission could dismiss a complaint or send it to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for a full hearing.