You can file a complaint online, or use the forms on the BC Human Rights Tribunal website.

Individual Complaints

You can file a complaint for yourself, or for someone else.

Group Complaints

You can file a complaint for two or more specific, identifiable individuals.

Example: Three women who work for the same employer and have all experienced sexual harassment on the job.

Class Complaints

You can file a complaint for a number of individuals who share certain characteristics.

Example: All residents of Vancouver who are visually impaired and use transit.

You can get information and advice about filing your complaint at our Short Service Clinic. To make an appointment, click here.

If you need help filling out the complaint form, contact Amici Curiae’s Legal Forms Service.

Please also see our list of other agencies and resources that can help.

The Tribunal screens complaints to make sure they allege something the Tribunal can address. They also check to make sure the complaint was filed within the one-year limitation period.

The Tribunal may send you a letter asking you questions about your complaint. They may want more information, or submissions on why your complaint should be accepted even though it was filed late.

If your complaint is accepted, the Tribunal will send you a Notice of Complaint Proceeding. If your complaint is rejected, you can seek a reconsideration or judicial review.

The Notice of Complaint Proceeding sets a deadline for the Respondent to file a Response to your complaint. The deadline is generally 8 weeks from the date of the letter. The Response will provide the Respondent’s version of events and perspective on the allegations you make in your complaint.

A mediation (also known as a “settlement meeting”) is an opportunity to see if the parties can resolve the dispute without a hearing. The Tribunal will provide a mediator who will assist the parties to negotiate a settlement.

This is a free service. It is also voluntary; both sides must be willing to participate. All discussions during a settlement meeting are confidential. Many complaints are resolved at a settlement meeting.

The Clinic has a list of Frequently Asked Questions about settlement and mediations. The Tribunal has a number of helpful resources for preparing for a settlement meeting on its website.

If the case is not resolved at at mediation, then both parties must disclose all relevant documents to the other side. You must also file a list of your documents with the Tribunal.

You must disclose any documents you have, or which you don’t have but could get, that relate to any of the issues in your complaint. This means that documents that help your case and documents that might hurt your case both have to be disclosed. Any document that might be relevant to the complaint or to the defence must be disclosed.

Failure to disclose relevant documents can seriously hurt your case. It can even lead to a costs award against you.

Documents that might be relevant to a human rights complaint include:

  • Emails, texts, or other correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Diaries
  • Meeting minutes or notes
  • Receipts
  • Your employment contract
  • Pay stubs, T4s, or other financial information
  • Employer policies
  • Medical records
  • A WorkSafe complaint
  • Documents showing your efforts to mitigate your losses (e.g., work searches, information about income from new employment)

The Tribunal reviews the complaint and response and sends the parties a letter placing the complaint on the “Hearing Path” or the “Submissions Path”. If the case is placed on the Hearing Path, it will proceed directly to a hearing. If it is placed on the Submissions Path, the Respondent can apply to have the complaint dismissed without a hearing.

You can learn more about the Case Path Pilot Project on the Tribunal’s website here.

If the case is placed on the Submissions Path, the Respondent may make an application to have the complaint dismissed without a hearing. There are a number of reasons why a complaint may be dismissed without a hearing. The Tribunal publishes guides to these applications on its website.

If the Respondent makes an application to dismiss your complaint without a hearing, you will have an opportunity to respond and show the Tribunal why your complaint should not be dismissed.

If the Respondent does not make an application to dismiss, or if they do and it is denied, then your complaint will be scheduled for a hearing.

The Tribunal will schedule a telephone case conference to discuss hearing dates with you and the Respondent. On this call, you can also ask for any accommodations you may need for the hearing, like interpreters or audio-visual equipment.

Since the pandemic, most hearings happen by video. You can request an in-person hearing if you need to.

The Tribunal will send you a letter telling you when you must file a list of witnesses, a list of the remedies you want, and a list of documents that relate to the remedy.

Prepare to tell your story. Decide what evidence you will rely on to make your case. Write out the questions you will ask the respondent and their witnesses.

Hearings are generally open to the public. Consider watching another Tribunal hearing to find out more about what to expect.

The Tribunal has some helpful resources and checklists for preparing for a hearing on its website.

Before the hearing, you must file a Statement of Remedy that explains what you want from the Respondents. They will file a response. Both parties must also file a witness list and disclose any additional documents that are relevant to the remedy you are asking for.

Your case will be heard by a Member of the Tribunal. Hearings generally happen by video-conference using Microsoft Teams. You will testify under oath and call any witnesses you want to give evidence. The other side will ask questions of you and your witnesses (called cross-examination). They will also call witnesses. You can ask their witnesses questions. You will also provide the Tribunal with documents that help support your case.

The Tribunal publishes a Guide to Getting Ready for a Hearing on its website.

The Tribunal Member will issue a decision. Decisions are published in legal databases like CanLII. If the Tribunal finds you have proved your complaint of discrimination, they will order a remedy. If they find you have not proved your case, they will dismiss it. If you disagree with the Tribunal’s decision, you can seek reconsideration or judicial review.

If you are successful at the hearing, the Tribunal will issue an order. In most cases, the Tribunal will order the Respondent to take steps to remedy the discrimination. This may include compensating you for lost wages or injury to your dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Usually, Respondents comply with the Tribunal’s order. However, if the Respondent does not comply, you may need to take steps to enforce the order.

The Tribunal cannot assist you to enforce the order. Instead, you must go to the BC Supreme Court and begin the enforcement process there. To learn more about enforcing a Tribunal order, please see our step-by-step guide.