Civil or Tribunal Remedy for Human Rights Breach?

Paralegal Karen Fair

Paralegal Karen Fair summarizes a case in which an application was dismissed by the Human Rights Tribunal.

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) reiterates jurisdiction rules in Toker v. 1044765 Ontario Inc., 2014 HRTO 1159 (CanLII). The tribunal found that, where an applicant makes the same claim regarding human rights violations requesting the same remedies in civil proceedings as in a HRTO application, the application to the HRTO is outside its jurisdiction if it meets the requirements of section 34(11) of the Human Rights Code. The intent of section 34(11) is to prevent duplicate court and Tribunal proceedings.

In this case, the applicant raised the same facts and issues in both his statement of claim and his application to the HRTO. The applicant alleged that he experienced panic attacks stemming from his disability and stated that his mistreatment at work partly triggered panic attacks. He alleged that his employer dismissed him without cause because he had to leave early as a result of a panic attack. Further, the applicant requested damages for the violation of the Human Rights Code in his statement of claim.

Writing for the HRTO, David Muir, Vice-chair, found that “the requirements of section 34(11) are met here in that a civil proceeding has been commenced where damages are sought for alleged violations of the Code and that proceeding has not been finally determined, withdrawn or settled. For these reasons the Application is dismissed.”

Related Cases & Information:

Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.19, s. 34(11)

Civil Remedy for Human Rights – A Legal First

Beaver v. Dr. Hans Epp Dentistry Professional Corporation, 2008 HRTO 282 (CanLII)

Taylor v. Fastenal Canada Ltd., 2012 HRTO 1067 (CanLII)

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