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Canadian Human Rights Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-6)

Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2021-08-31. Previous Versions

PART IIIDiscriminatory Practices and General Provisions (continued)

Marginal note:Disclosure of personal information

 For the purpose of the administration of the Accessible Canada Act, an officer or employee of the Commission may disclose to the Accessibility Commissioner any personal information that is contained in a complaint filed with the Commission.

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this section,

    designated groups

    designated groups has the meaning assigned in section 3 of the Employment Equity Act; (groupes désignés)

    employer

    employer means a person who or organization that discharges the obligations of an employer under the Employment Equity Act. (employeur)

  • Marginal note:Employment equity complaints

    (2) No complaint may be dealt with by the Commission pursuant to section 40 where

    • (a) the complaint is made against an employer alleging that the employer has engaged in a discriminatory practice set out in section 7 or paragraph 10(a); and

    • (b) the complaint is based solely on statistical information that purports to show that members of one or more designated groups are underrepresented in the employer’s workforce.

  • 1995, c. 44, s. 48

Marginal note:Non-application of sections 7, 10 and 11

  •  (1) The Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with complaints made by an employee, as defined in subsection 3(1) of the Pay Equity Act, against an employer that is subject to that Act, alleging that

    • (a) the employer has engaged in a discriminatory practice referred to in section 7 or 10, if the complaint is in respect of the employer establishing or maintaining differences in wages between male and female employees who are performing work of equal value; or

    • (b) the employer has engaged in a discriminatory practice referred to in section 11.

  • Marginal note:Parliamentary employees

    (2) The Commission does not have jurisdiction to deal with complaints made by an employee, within the meaning of section 86.1 of the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, against an employer, within the meaning of that same section, alleging that the employer has engaged in a discriminatory practice referred to in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Commission to deal with complaint

  •  (1) Subject to section 40, the Commission shall deal with any complaint filed with it unless in respect of that complaint it appears to the Commission that

    • (a) the alleged victim of the discriminatory practice to which the complaint relates ought to exhaust grievance or review procedures otherwise reasonably available;

    • (b) the complaint is one that could more appropriately be dealt with, initially or completely, according to a procedure provided for under an Act of Parliament other than this Act;

    • (c) the complaint is beyond the jurisdiction of the Commission;

    • (d) the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith; or

    • (e) the complaint is based on acts or omissions the last of which occurred more than one year, or such longer period of time as the Commission considers appropriate in the circumstances, before receipt of the complaint.

  • Marginal note:Commission may decline to deal with complaint

    (2) The Commission may decline to deal with a complaint referred to in paragraph 10(a) in respect of an employer where it is of the opinion that the matter has been adequately dealt with in the employer’s employment equity plan prepared pursuant to section 10 of the Employment Equity Act.

  • Meaning of employer

    (3) In this section, employer means a person who or organization that discharges the obligations of an employer under the Employment Equity Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 41
  • 1994, c. 26, s. 34(F)
  • 1995, c. 44, s. 49

Marginal note:Notice

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), when the Commission decides not to deal with a complaint, it shall send a written notice of its decision to the complainant setting out the reason for its decision.

  • Marginal note:Attributing fault for delay

    (2) Before deciding that a complaint will not be dealt with because a procedure referred to in paragraph 41(a) has not been exhausted, the Commission shall satisfy itself that the failure to exhaust the procedure was attributable to the complainant and not to another.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 34

Investigation

Marginal note:Designation of investigator

  •  (1) The Commission may designate a person, in this Part referred to as an “investigator”, to investigate a complaint.

  • Marginal note:Manner of investigation

    (2) An investigator shall investigate a complaint in a manner authorized by regulations made pursuant to subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Power to enter

    (2.1) Subject to such limitations as the Governor in Council may prescribe in the interests of national defence or security, an investigator with a warrant issued under subsection (2.2) may, at any reasonable time, enter and search any premises in order to carry out such inquiries as are reasonably necessary for the investigation of a complaint.

  • Marginal note:Authority to issue warrant

    (2.2) Where on ex parte application a judge of the Federal Court is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is in any premises any evidence relevant to the investigation of a complaint, the judge may issue a warrant under the judge’s hand authorizing the investigator named therein to enter and search those premises for any such evidence subject to such conditions as may be specified in the warrant.

  • Marginal note:Use of force

    (2.3) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (2.2), the investigator named therein shall not use force unless the investigator is accompanied by a peace officer and the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.

  • Marginal note:Production of books

    (2.4) An investigator may require any individual found in any premises entered pursuant to this section to produce for inspection or for the purpose of obtaining copies thereof or extracts therefrom any books or other documents containing any matter relevant to the investigation being conducted by the investigator.

  • Marginal note:Obstruction

    (3) No person shall obstruct an investigator in the investigation of a complaint.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (4) The Governor in Council may make regulations

    • (a) prescribing procedures to be followed by investigators;

    • (b) authorizing the manner in which complaints are to be investigated pursuant to this Part; and

    • (c) prescribing limitations for the purpose of subsection (2.1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 43
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 63

Marginal note:Report

  •  (1) An investigator shall, as soon as possible after the conclusion of an investigation, submit to the Commission a report of the findings of the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Action on receipt of report

    (2) If, on receipt of a report referred to in subsection (1), the Commission is satisfied

    • (a) that the complainant ought to exhaust grievance or review procedures otherwise reasonably available, or

    • (b) that the complaint could more appropriately be dealt with, initially or completely, by means of a procedure provided for under an Act of Parliament other than this Act,

    it shall refer the complainant to the appropriate authority.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) On receipt of a report referred to in subsection (1), the Commission

    • (a) may request the Chairperson of the Tribunal to institute an inquiry under section 49 into the complaint to which the report relates if the Commission is satisfied

      • (i) that, having regard to all the circumstances of the complaint, an inquiry into the complaint is warranted, and

      • (ii) that the complaint to which the report relates should not be referred pursuant to subsection (2) or dismissed on any ground mentioned in paragraphs 41(c) to (e); or

    • (b) shall dismiss the complaint to which the report relates if it is satisfied

      • (i) that, having regard to all the circumstances of the complaint, an inquiry into the complaint is not warranted, or

      • (ii) that the complaint should be dismissed on any ground mentioned in paragraphs 41(c) to (e).

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (4) After receipt of a report referred to in subsection (1), the Commission

    • (a) shall notify in writing the complainant and the person against whom the complaint was made of its action under subsection (2) or (3); and

    • (b) may, in such manner as it sees fit, notify any other person whom it considers necessary to notify of its action under subsection (2) or (3).

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 44
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 64
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 24

Marginal note:Definition of Review Agency

  •  (1) In this section and section 46, Review Agency means the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency.

  • Marginal note:Complaint involving security considerations

    (2) When, at any stage after the filing of a complaint and before the commencement of a hearing before a member or panel in respect of the complaint, the Commission receives written notice from a minister of the Crown that the practice to which the complaint relates was based on considerations relating to the security of Canada, the Commission may

    • (a) dismiss the complaint; or

    • (b) refer the matter to the Review Agency.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (3) After receipt of a notice mentioned in subsection (2), the Commission

    • (a) shall notify in writing the complainant and the person against whom the complaint was made of its action under paragraph (2)(a) or (b); and

    • (b) may, in such manner as it sees fit, notify any other person whom it considers necessary to notify of its action under paragraph 2(a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:Stay of procedures

    (4) Where the Commission has referred the matter to the Review Agency pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), it shall not deal with the complaint until the Review Agency has, pursuant to subsection 46(1), provided it with a report in relation to the matter.

  • Marginal note:National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act

    (5) If a matter is referred to the Review Agency under paragraph (2)(b), sections 10 to 12, 20, 24 to 28 and 30 of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency Act apply, with any necessary modifications, to the matter as if the referral were a complaint made under subsection 18(3) of that Act, except that a reference in any of those provisions to “deputy head” is to be read as a reference to the minister referred to in subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Statement to be sent to person affected

    (6) The Review Agency shall, as soon as practicable after a matter in relation to a complaint is referred to it pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), send to the complainant a statement summarizing such information available to it as will enable the complainant to be as fully informed as possible of the circumstances giving rise to the referral.

Marginal note:Report

  •  (1) On completion of its investigation under section 45, the Review Agency shall, not later than 90 days after the matter is referred to it under paragraph 45(2)(b), provide the Commission, the minister referred to in subsection 45(2), the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the complainant with a report containing the Agency’s findings. On request of the Agency, the Commission may extend the time for providing a report.

  • Marginal note:Action on receipt of report

    (2) After considering a report provided pursuant to subsection (1), the Commission

    • (a) may dismiss the complaint or, where it does not do so, shall proceed to deal with the complaint pursuant to this Part; and

    • (b) shall notify, in writing, the complainant and the person against whom the complaint was made of its action under paragraph (a) and may, in such manner as it sees fit, notify any other person whom it considers necessary to notify of that action.

Conciliator

Marginal note:Appointment of conciliator

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Commission may, on the filing of a complaint, or if the complaint has not been

    • (a) settled in the course of investigation by an investigator,

    • (b) referred or dismissed under subsection 44(2) or (3) or paragraph 45(2)(a) or 46(2)(a), or

    • (c) settled after receipt by the parties of the notice referred to in subsection 44(4),

    appoint a person, in this Part referred to as a “conciliator”, for the purpose of attempting to bring about a settlement of the complaint.

  • Marginal note:Eligibility

    (2) A person is not eligible to act as a conciliator in respect of a complaint if that person has already acted as an investigator in respect of that complaint.

  • Marginal note:Confidentiality

    (3) Any information received by a conciliator in the course of attempting to reach a settlement of a complaint is confidential and may not be disclosed except with the consent of the person who gave the information.

  • 1976-77, c. 33, s. 37
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 143, s. 17(F)
  • 1984, c. 21, s. 74

Settlement

Marginal note:Referral of a settlement to Commission

  •  (1) When, at any stage after the filing of a complaint and before the commencement of a hearing before a Human Rights Tribunal in respect thereof, a settlement is agreed on by the parties, the terms of the settlement shall be referred to the Commission for approval or rejection.

  • Marginal note:Certificate

    (2) If the Commission approves or rejects the terms of a settlement referred to in subsection (1), it shall so certify and notify the parties.

  • Marginal note:Enforcement of settlement

    (3) A settlement approved under this section may, for the purpose of enforcement, be made an order of the Federal Court on application to that Court by the Commission or a party to the settlement.

  • R.S., 1985, c. H-6, s. 48
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 26
 
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