A few years back, the human rights system in Ontario was overhauled. The Human Rights Commission was to no longer investigate complaints and refer them to the Human Rights Tribunal (if they had some merit). All cases were to now go directly to the Tribunal for adjudication. Applicants (who are primarily employees) would have “direct access” to the Tribunal.
Most employers are likely familiar with the WSIB return to work process which often involves a WSIB employee attending at the workplace for the purpose of identifying suitable and sustainable work for the injured worker. In circumstances where there is a dispute about whether a position is suitable and/or available, the WSIB will examine the circumstances and make a written decision. The worker and the employer have the right to appeal an adverse decision initially to the WSIB Appeals Branch and ultimately to the independent Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.
Employers face a choice when confronted with a human rights application from an employee or former employee: settle or defend.
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