Guide to Responding to a Complaint

The Human Rights Code provides the respondent to a complaint the opportunity to submit a written response to the complaint.  It is not required but is extremely helpful to the Commission who is required by law to investigate the complaint.

How much time do I have to respond?
The Commission allows the respondent 30 days to provide a written response to the complaint or Reply.  The Commission may extend the time but will make sure the delay does not impact how long it takes to start investigating the complaint.

What information should I include in my Reply?
Try and respond to the allegation of discrimination generally.  Also review the specifics of the complaint and indicate what information you agree or disagree with.  Provide supporting evidence (such as a termination letter, release, photographs etc.) and the contact information of witnesses and what they will generally say. 

Try and organize your response in numbered paragraphs that correspond with the information in the complaint.  Don’t destroy any evidence as it may be requested later in the process.

Will the Complainant see the information I provide?
The Commission will provide a copy of the Reply to the Complainant but will remove any names that are not included in the complaint. Any documents attached will not be provided. Later in the process, these documents may be summarized in the investigation report that both parties and the Board of Commissioners receive.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?
You may hire a lawyer, but it is not necessary.

 

This guide is available in alternate formats.
Ce guide est disponible en francais.

Revised May 2017