le­gal mat­ters

The Hamilton Spectator - - Local -

QAI think I have ex­pe­ri­enced dis­crim­i­na­tion at work. I am a mem­ber of a union and have been told that be­cause I am in a union I can­not pro­ceed with a hu­man rights claim out­side of the process es­tab­lished in my col­lec­tive agree­ment, is this true? No, this is not true, even union­ized em­ploy­ees can pro­ceed with a hu­man rights ap­pli­ca­tion un­der the On­tario Hu­man Rights Code. In On­tario, the Court of Ap­peal has held that the On­tario Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal can hear hu­man rights claims even if an em­ployee could have raised them else­where, such as in a labour ar­bi­tra­tion. What you should know is that if your union has filed a griev­ance re­lated to the sub­stance of your hu­man rights ap­pli­ca­tion the Tri­bunal is likely to wait to deal with your ap­pli­ca­tion un­til that griev­ance is re­solved. Fur­ther­more, de­pend­ing on that res­o­lu­tion, the Tri­bunal may dis­miss your ap­pli­ca­tion if it de­ter­mines that the griev­ance “ap­pro­pri­ately dealt with” the sub­stance of your ap­pli­ca­tion. If you think you have ex­pe­ri­enced dis­crim­i­na­tion at work, even in a union­ized en­vi­ron­ment, it is im­por­tant that you file a hu­man rights ap­pli­ca­tion with the Tri­bunal no later than one year after the dis­crim­i­na­tory event, even if your union is also pur­su­ing a griev­ance. You only have one year to file a hu­man rights ap­pli­ca­tion and this time limit ap­plies re­gard­less of whether or not a griev­ance has also been filed—in other words, you can­not wait un­til the griev­ance process is over to file a hu­man rights com­plaint. With 45 lawyers and mul­ti­ple prac­tice ar­eas the le­gal team at Ross & McBride LLP can as­sist you with just about any le­gal mat­ter. We’ve been call­ing Hamil­ton our home since 1894. We’ve watched our city grow and there’s no other place we’d rather work and play. We love our city’s spirit, gen­uine de­meanour and it’s un­abashed charm. When you need a lawyer in your cor­ner, we hope you’ll let us serve you with the pas­sion, pride and pro­fes­sion­al­ism that we have be­come known for.

SAMAN­THA KOMPA EM­PLOY­MENT LAWYER

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