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Complaint Process

There are a number of steps in making a human rights complaint as well as a number of ways complaints can be resolved.

Intake

You can also make a complaint by mail or phone. If you need help with completing the online form you can contact the Commission by email.

The complaint process generally begins by completing and filing an online intake questionnaire. The intake form gathers...

  • contact information for you, your workplace and the individual complained about
  • details about your job
  • information about whether you have already taken other action in relation to the complaint, and if so, your reasons for also bringing a human rights complaint
  • the type of discrimination you are complaining about (the form includes a drop down list of prohibited grounds - sexual harassment is listed separately)
  • details about your complaint, including possible witnesses and what they might say
  • information about your thoughts on the best way to resolve your matter
  • additional documents that could support your complaint

Individuals who experience workplace sexual harassment may be reluctant to make a complaint because they fear retaliation. Any type of retaliation is against the Code.

Pre-complaint Resolution

In some cases, the intake consultant may see an opportunity to resolve the issue quickly through facilitating communication between the parties. The intake consultant’s role throughout this process is to remain neutral and unbiased. The process can also serve to help educate employers and workers about human rights violations and their consequences.

Assessment and Complaint

An intake consultant will review the information provided to determine whether your complaint falls under The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and whether there is reason to believe that discrimination has occurred. If those two factors are satisfied, you will be asked to sign a formal complaint. After the complaint is signed, it is served on the other party and then they can respond.

Mediation

If both parties agree, complaints may be resolved through mediation. Mediation can take place at any point from intake to investigation. Mediation may lead to a faster, more cooperative resolution.

Through mediation the parties can agree on a resolution. It is important to remember that at this stage both parties must agree to the resolution. The Commission cannot order someone to do something to resolve the situation.

Investigations

If your matter is not resolved, the Human Rights Commission can investigate your complaint. Discussions that took place during mediation are not shared with investigators. An impartial investigator talks to the parties and witnesses to try to determine what happened. They also examine any supporting documentation.

The investigator's findings are submitted to the Chief Commissioner. The Chief Commissioner decides whether your case should be…

  • dismissed
  • sent to a hearing
  • investigated further
  • dealt with in another way

Hearings

In most cases, before a hearing takes place, the parties will be required to try mediation even if they have already tried it. This is called Directed Mediation. The other party is asked to provide their final offer of resolution. If the Commission determines that the offer is reasonable, they can dismiss your complaint if you do not accept the offer.

If your complaint is referred to the Court of King’s Bench, a lawyer from the Commission will present your case for you. There is no charge to you for these services. The other party may choose to hire a lawyer to represent them or they may represent themselves. There are a number of remedies the court can order if they find there has been discrimination.

Even though litigation is essential to the complaints process, the Commission’s decision to litigate any case is never taken lightly. Court intervention is a tool that is used sparingly and judiciously.

SHRC 2018-2019 Annual Report

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This site provides general information about workplace sexual harassment only. It is not a substitute for receiving legal advice about your situation. Apply now to receive 4 hours of free legal advice.

The Shift Project is funded by the Department of Justice and delivered by the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA).

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