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Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

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Filing an Application

Survivors of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and in other specific settings can receive protection under Ontario‚Äôs Human Rights Code. Applications are to be filed directly at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), which is a specialized tribunal set up to mediate and adjudicate human rights claims. A human rights application can be filed against (1) the accused and (2) against the organization (workplace) where the sexual harassment or sexual assault took place. 


Seeking Legal Advice 

Applicants may receive free legal advice regarding their claim from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre (the HRLSC). Applicants can request that the HRTO anonymize their name and any other identifying information in the decision, however, Applicants should seek specific legal advice regarding this. If an Applicant is not granted anonymization, there will be a public decision with reasons as to why the HRTO did not grant this. 


Limitation Period 

The Applicant has one year of the last act of sexual harassment or sexual assault to file a complaint with the HRTO. If the sexual harassment or sexual assault has been a series of incidents, the limitation period is of one year from the last incident of the series. An Applicant who is late in bringing a HRTO applicant could potentially get the 1 year limitation period exempted. This is only if the Applicant can prove that the delay was caused due to circumstances such as: a disability related barrier, discoverability of the discrimination, an error in the legal advice provided, and that no substantial prejudice will result by the delay. However, getting a limitation period waived is rare and difficult.