Damages for a Breach of the Human Rights Code – An Overview

August 31st, 2011 by

If an employee has been terminated, and one reason for the termination relates to a prohibited ground of discrimination, such as ethnic origin, religion or gender, the employee would be entitled to additional compensation from the employer. The employee has the burden to establish a prima facie case of discrimination, on a balance of probabilities. If the employee is able to do so, the burden then shifts to the employer to prove, also on a balance of probabilities, that the reasons for termination were unrelated to any prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Direct evidence of discrimination is not required in order for an employee to be successful on this type of claim. The decision-maker is permitted to draw an inference that discrimination occurred based on the facts presented.

An employee who believes they have been subjected to a discriminatory termination from his or her employment has the option of commencing a claim in the civil courts or at the Human Rights Tribunal.

The Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to award a wide range of remedies to the individual whose human rights have been breached. Some of these remedies have included requiring the employer to write a letter of apology to the employee, and to require the employer to complete a session of training with a human rights lawyer.


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