Filing an Application

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The HRTO process begins when a person files a completed application form with the HRTO. The person who files the application is called the applicant.

How to file

You have the option of using a lawyer to file your application, or you may attempt to do so yourself. If you wish to file your own application, you can do so directly through the Tribunal's online SmartForm. SmartForms are easier to complete and can be processed more quickly than other applications. SmartForm only asks the questions that you need to answer. 

If you wish to use a lawyer, you can contact our office for a free consultation

Information to include in the form

The application form asks you to identify who you believe is responsible for the alleged discrimination. This person or organization is called the respondent. There can be more than one respondent but each respondent needs to be involved in or responsible for the discrimination. You must provide a detailed description of the events that led to your claim and explain how each respondent is responsible. Carefully consider who you want to name as a respondent. Naming many individuals in addition to an organization can delay your application. The application form also asks:

  • What area(s) and ground(s) of the Code do you believe were infringed?

  • What do you want to have happen as a result of your application?

  • Do you want to see any changes in policies or practices?

  • Have you filed complaints with any other legal bodies about the discrimination?

After you file

After your application has been received by the HRTO, you will receive a letter in the mail that includes your HRTO file number. The HRTO will review your application to determine the next steps. If the application is incomplete or more information is required, the HRTO will let you know. If the application is complete and within the HRTO’s jurisdiction, it will be sent to the respondent(s) named in the application and any others who may be affected by the application (e.g. a labour union in the case of an application filed on the grounds of employment).

If you used a lawyer to file your application, your lawyer will coordinate with the HRTO to proceed with subsequent steps in the process.