Webinar by CLAS and BCHRT – Making a Human Rights Complaint in BC


Lawyers Cayleigh Shiff from the Community Legal Assistance Society and Katherine Hardie from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal answer common questions about making a human rights complaint in BC.


In this webinar, you will learn:

Introduction to discrimination

  • What discrimination is and which characteristics are protected by law. [3:55]
  • What the BC Human Rights Tribunal is and the role it plays in protecting British Columbians from discrimination. [9:10]
  • Where, in addition to your workplace, you’re protected from discrimination. [11:20]
  • What a duty to accommodate is and how far it extends. [13:20]

Before (or instead of) filing a formal complaint

  • What you can do if you think you have been discriminated against in a retail store, other than making a formal complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. [18:35] 
  • What you can do if you think you’ve been discriminated against at work, other than filing a formal complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal. [20:45]

Making a human rights complaint

  • Whether a human rights complaint must be filed with the BC Human Rights Tribunal or whether it could be filed with the courts. [23:20]
  • What a person can gain from pursuing their human rights complaint. [25:25]
  • How to initiate a human rights complaint, whether a lawyer is required, and whether there are free or low-cost ways to get help. [28:40]
  • The steps you can expect in the complaint process with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, including whether you must testify in front of the person who discriminated against you. [33:50]
  • Factors to consider before filing a human rights complaint. [38:10]
  • How to set yourself up so that your complaint has the greatest chance of success. [44:15]

Live questions

  • Whether, in a dispute hearing before the Residential Tenancy Branch, an arbitrator can make a decision about whether there was discrimination. [48:00]
  • At what point microaggressions would amount to discrimination. [49:30]
  • Whether intent is relevant in assessing whether something amounts to discrimination. [52:00]
  • What you can do if you live in a condo and you think the strata rules were applied differently against your family because of your special needs son. [53:40]
  • What to do if you can’t file a human rights complaint within a year because it will further negatively impact your safety or human rights. [55:35]