We hope that the following information will help you decide whether you want to seek legal assistance from the Centre.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions before calling us.
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre helps applicants
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre helps human rights applicants - people facing discrimination. We cannot provide legal assistance to employers, landlords, service providers or business operators.
If you are an employer, please go to the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s web site to read the Human Rights at Work 2008 guide or call the Commission at 1-800-387-9080 to hear recorded information.
General information is available on the web
You should read general information available on the web before calling us. You will find a lot of useful information at our Self-Help Materials and How-To Guides page. Also look at information available from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
We can provide service in 140 languages. Just call us, and we will arrange to speak with you in the language of your choice. You can also provide your own interpreter. Select information sheets are on this web site in Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, Arabic, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, Punjabi, and Tagalog.
Your call must be related to the Ontario Human Rights Code
Not all unfair treatment is discrimination. Discrimination is unfair treatment that is tied to one of the characteristics (called grounds of discrimination) specified in Ontario’s Human Rights Code. These grounds are:
- Place of origin
- Ethnic origin
- Creed (religion)
- Receipt of public assistance (can be discriminatory in relation housing only)
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Family status
- Record of offenses (can be discriminatory in relation to employment only, and you must have been pardoned for the offense)
- Sex (includes being pregnant, sexual harassment)
- Gender identity and gender expression
To determine if you have a Human Rights Claim under the Code, please click here.
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre does not deal with general employment issues. If you are calling about unpaid wages or improper firing that is not related to the Human Rights Code please go to Ministry of Labour or call them at 1-800-531-5551 to find out about your rights under the Employment Standards Act.
What to think about before calling us about filing an application
On the Tribunal’s application form, you must describe what happened (who, when, what and where); how the events affected you; and what compensation or remedy you want. It will also ask you to clearly identify the name of the person or persons, company, service organization, or government program that you think is responsible for the discrimination. Once you file your application at the Tribunal, it will send a copy of your application form to every person or organization that you name and they will have to respond to your application. You will want to gather any documents that support your claim, and also think about if there are any witnesses to what happened.
What you need to have handy when you phone
Please have a pen and paper to write things down, as well as any relevant documents such as letters, e-mails, records of employment or leases. You will need these when talking to a Human Rights Advisor.
Do you have an upcoming mediation or hearing?
If you have a mediation scheduled, please contact us at least 20 days before the mediation date. If you have a hearing scheduled, please contact us as soon as possible. This allows us enough time to determine how best to help you.
Is your human rights claim outside the scope of Ontario’s Human Rights Code?
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre does not deal with federal matters such as airline travel, chartered banks, television and radio stations, telephone companies, federal government departments and agencies. Those are dealt with under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Contact the Canadian Human Rights Commission, at 1-888-214-1090.