If you have been treated badly and have suffered as a result of that poor treatment, depending upon the fact situation, you may be able to turn to one or more bodies to assist you in having the impact of that treatment remedied.
One such body is the Yukon Human Rights Commission. The Yukon Human Rights Commission may be the right place for you if:
- You have been treated unfavourably by someone;
- At least one of the factors that gave rise to that unfavourable treatment is the fact that you have a personal characteristic (ground) protected by the Yukon Human Rights Act;
- The treatment is in respect of a subject area identified in the Yukon Human Rights Act;
- The treatment that you wish to complain about happened within the last eighteen months in Yukon; and
- The person or organisation you believe discriminated against you falls under the jurisdiction of the Yukon Human Rights Commission rather than the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Applying the above, an example of a human rights complaint that may be accepted for investigation by the Commission is someone working (3) at a Yukon restaurant (5) was fired (1) within the last 18 months (4), and part of the reason they were fired is that they became pregnant (2).
Prohibited grounds of discrimination set out in the Act at s. 7
- (a) ancestry, including colour and race;
- (b) national origin;
- (c) ethnic or linguistic background or origin;
- (d) religion or creed, or religious belief, religious association, or religious activity;
- (e) age;
- (f) sex, including pregnancy, and pregnancy related conditions;
- (f.01) gender identity or gender expression;
- (g) sexual orientation;
- (h) physical or mental disability;
- (i) criminal charges or criminal record;
- (j) political belief, political association, or political activity;
- (k) marital or family status;
- (l) source of income;
- (m) actual or presumed association with other individuals or groups whose identity or membership is determined by any of the grounds listed in paragraphs (a) to (l).
Subject areas of a human rights complaint as set out at s. 9 of the Act
- (a) when offering or providing services, goods, or facilities to the public;
- (b) in connection with any aspect of employment or application for employment*;
- (c) in connection with any aspect of membership in or representation by any trade union, trade association, occupational association, or professional association;
- (d) in connection with any aspect of the occupancy, possession, lease, or sale of property offered to the public;
- (e) in the negotiation or performance of any contract that is offered to or for which offers are invited from the public.
*Organized volunteerism will generally be considered to be protected under s. 9(b) of the Yukon Human Rights Act
If your matter does not meet the criteria outlined above, the Yukon Human Rights Commission is likely not the right place for your matter. This does not mean that you have not been treated poorly or that you have not been discriminated against. One or both of those may be true, but in such cases the Yukon Human Rights Commission has no authority to review or remedy the specific situation.
However, other bodies may be able to assist and support you. Depending upon your fact situation, they may be the right place for you.
If you believe that you have been treated unfavourably by an employer but your matter does not fall under the Yukon Human Rights Act, the Employment Standards Office may be able to assist you. Alternatively, if your workplace is unionized, you may be able to pursue a remedy through the process set out in the collective agreement.
If you are a renter who believes that you have been treated unfairly but not discriminated against under the Yukon Human Rights Act, the Yukon Residential Tenancies Office may be able to address your concerns.
If you were injured in the workplace and are concerned about it happening again to others, the Occupational Health and Safety office may be able to review whether the workplace’s safety measures are appropriate. And if you suffered an injury on the job, the Workers Compensation Office may be able to provide some financial support and retraining.
If you feel that you were treated unfairly while accessing public services, but that your treatment did not engage a protected ground under the Yukon Human Rights Act, the Yukon Ombudsman may be able to help. (link – https://www.ombudsman.yk.ca/yukon-ombudsman/for-the-public)
If your concerns are about being denied access to information held by public entity, or you believe that your privacy was violated by a public entity, the Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner may be able to help.
If you are an employee of a public entity and wish to disclose wrongdoing without fear of reprisal, the Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner may be able to help.
Some matters may also be addressed through the civil court system by initiating an action for a remedy.
The nature of some complaints is such that they may fall within the scope of the Human Rights Commission and another body at the same time. The human rights complaint process is a process of last resort. If there is another process that is reasonably available and has similar remedies, the human rights complaint process may wait for that process to complete before it can assess whether or not there are outstanding human rights issues to be addressed. A common example of such a process is a union grievance process.
The existence of an alternative process which may address your complaint is not a reason to delay filing a human rights complaint if you feel that you have been discriminated against in a manner contrary to the Yukon Human Rights Act. If you delay filing for more than 18 months while the other process takes place, you may lose your opportunity to file a human rights complaint. However, if you file within the 18-month deadline and the complaint is accepted on its merits (Elements of a Complaint) but an alternative process exists, your complaint will likely be suspended until there is an indication as to whether the human rights issues have been addressed by the other process.