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Human Rights Complaints HRCO
Human Rights Complaints

Our Commitment to Human Rights​​

We are committed to ensuring that everyone is entitled to work and learn in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. The Human Rights Commissioner’s Office (HRCO) is the Board's arms-length department for upholding and ensuring compliance with Ontario's Human Rights Code.​

The HRCO maintains an impartial approach when addressing a human rights complaint. Our team strives to explore the differing perspectives and understand all sides of a complaint. Please note that any complainant who seeks resolution of a complaint must be prepared to be identified to the respondent.

The HRCO deals primarily with all Code-based issues and complaints under Board Policy #240.0, Human Rights: Code-Related Harassment and Discrimination.

​Complaint Referral

The standard process for filing a human rights complaint with the HRCO is through a referral. However, someone may also contact the HRCO without a referral (at first instance).

An example of this might be a situation where an individual may not be aware that the matter should have been reviewed by an appropriate YRDSB staff member or unit. In the case of a YRDSB employee who is a member of a union, the member should bring the matter to the attention of their union representative. A parent or student issue should be brought to the attention of the school principal at first instance.

The HRCO Complaint Pathways Chart​ outlines different example scenarios of how a complaint would be addressed or supported by the HRCO.

A complaint may be referred to the HRCO in instances where:

  1. The matter has not been resolved; or
  2. It has been determined to be an exclusive human rights matter.

It should be made clear that human rights concerns can be addressed and resolved at all levels within the Board.​

Upon receiving a complaint, t​he HRCO will:

  • Listen to the concerns of any member of the Board community seeking advice or information regarding human rights matters
  • Advise a Board community member who is a complainant or respondent in a human rights matter
  • Inform the member of other relevant Board policies and procedures
  • Provide information on the informal resolution processes and formal resolution complaint processes
  • If necessary, make a referral to support services
  • Facilitate or initiate informal resolution processes as agreed to by the complainant and/or respondent
  • Refer formal complaints to the appropriate dispute resolution mechanism​

Non-Code Relate​d Issues

​The HRCO does not normally deal with non-Code related issues, except to provide informal support as needed. General harassment or discrimination concerns that do not relate to a human rights protected ground are typically addressed through Policy #250.0, Violence Prevention and Intervention and Non-Code Workplace Related Harassment - Employees.

Allegations of behaviour​ by a staff member or member of school community that violates professional standards, statutory law, or Board polices and/or expectations are dealt with through the Policy #242.0, Standards of Conduct​.​​​​​

The HRCO will also not manage a complaint under the following circumstances:

  • It is determined that the matter is clearly not a Code-based complaint;
  • A parallel process is underway and has not yet concluded;
  • The matter was previously dealt with under another process;
  • The human rights complaints process is not the correct process; or
  • The human rights component of the complaint is subordinate to the main issue.

Complaint Process F​​lowchart

The HRCO flowchart below offers a visual representation of the HRCO complaint process:​HRCO Complaint Process Flowchart (PDF)

​​​​(Click on the chart to open the PDF version of the HRCO Complaint Process Flowchart)​​

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