Before Filing

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The HRTO can only consider your claim if it:

  1. falls within the scope of the Code, and

  2. has the legal authority (jurisdiction) to deal with it

The HRTO cannot consider an application if:

  • the application does not relate to one of the grounds of discrimination (for example race or disability) or to an area (for example housing or employment) covered by the Code

  • the events have no connection with Ontario

  • the respondent is a chartered bank, airline, television or radio station, telephone company, a company that operates buses and railways that travel between provinces or is another company that is subject to federal laws.

  • the human rights claim is before the courts, or the subject of a court decision

If it appears the HRTO may not have the authority to decide the application, the applicant will be asked to explain how the application is within the HRTO's jurisdiction. An adjudicator will consider the explanation. If the HRTO decides it does not have the authority to deal with the application, the application will be dismissed with written reasons.

File within one year

The Code contains time limits for making an application to the HRTO. You must file your application within one year of when the alleged discrimination happened. If you were discriminated against more than once, you must file the application within one year of the last event. HRTO can hear a late application if it is satisfied the delay occurred in good faith and it will not cause substantial harm (prejudice) to the other parties.

Getting legal advice

If you want to make an application to the HRTO, you can contact us for a free consultation. You may speak to one of our lawyers under no obligation to retain us. 

Timelines

Mediation will be scheduled for about 5 months from the date the parties agree to it. If a hearing on the merits of the application is needed, it will generally be scheduled to take place within 6 months from the date the application is ready to proceed to hearing. In some cases, it can take longer to hold a mediation or hearing. Sometimes there are preliminary issues that need to be dealt with, like an incomplete application or questions about whether the tribunal has jurisdiction. In other cases, parties ask to reschedule the hearing or mediation for a later date.