Human Rights Settlement in Ontario

Human Rights Settlement Amounts in Ontario

Assigning a monetary value to the pain caused by discrimination and harassment is not easy. Yet, it is a crucial aspect of seeking justice at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). In this blog post, we’ll explore the complexities of putting a monetary value on the intangible while delving into the types of monetary settlements, including compensation for damages, back pay, general damages, and the often-overlooked special damages. Understanding these elements is vital for individuals seeking redress for discrimination.

The amount of general damages the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has awarded in past cases range from $100 (see Kovacs v. Inscan Contractors, 2010 HRTO 810 ) to $200,000 (see A.B. v. Joe Singer Shoes Limited, 2018 HRTO 107). So it is essential to have an experienced human rights lawyer look at the merits of your case and provide you with a good idea of what you may be entitled to before the Human Rights Tribunal application if you are to be successful at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

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Understanding the HRTO Process

Individuals who believe they have experienced discrimination can file a complaint with the HRTO. The tribunal emphasizes resolution through mediation or settlement, providing an avenue for individuals to seek justice outside the courtroom.

Types of Monetary Settlements

Compensation for Damages

In cases of discrimination, individuals may receive compensation for the damages they have suffered. These damages can include financial losses, emotional distress, and other tangible harms caused by discriminatory actions.

Back Pay and Lost Wages

The HRTO may award back pay and lost wages to individuals who have faced employment discrimination. Real-life examples underscore the impact of these settlements in rectifying financial injustices.

General Damages

General damages account for the pain and suffering resulting from discriminatory actions. Understanding how the HRTO determines the amount of general damages sheds light on the tribunal’s commitment to addressing the broader consequences of discrimination.

Special Damages

Special damages, often underestimated, refer to quantifiable financial losses directly resulting from discriminatory actions. These can include medical expenses, counseling costs, relocation expenses, and job search costs. Proper documentation of special damages is crucial for a comprehensive resolution.

Factors Influencing Monetary Settlements

Severity of Discrimination

The severity of discriminatory actions significantly influences the amount of the settlement. Real-life cases demonstrate how severe discrimination leads to higher settlements, reflecting the tribunal’s commitment to addressing egregious violations.

Duration of the Discrimination

The duration of discrimination also plays a role in the HRTO’s decision on monetary settlements. Examining case studies reveals the tribunal’s consideration of the prolonged impact of discrimination on individuals’ lives.

Impact on the Individual

Understanding how the HRTO evaluates the impact of discrimination on individuals’ lives provides insight into the tribunal’s holistic approach to determining settlements. Personal stories and testimonials make this information relatable.

Challenges in Obtaining Monetary Settlements

While pursuing monetary settlements at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) offers a path to justice, it comes with its set of challenges. Understanding and navigating these obstacles is crucial for individuals seeking resolution.

Need for Strong Legal Representation

Mounting a successful case at the HRTO often requires the expertise of legal professionals well-versed in human rights law. However, securing strong legal representation can be challenging, especially for those facing financial constraints. The cost of legal services and representation can pose a significant barrier, limiting access to justice for some individuals.

Navigating Complex Legal Processes

The legal procedures involved in HRTO cases can be complex and daunting for individuals without a legal background. Navigating the intricacies of the tribunal process, including filing documents, presenting evidence, and adhering to procedural requirements, demands a nuanced understanding of the legal landscape. This complexity can be overwhelming for those attempting to represent themselves.

Emotional Toll and Trauma

Engaging in a legal battle to obtain a monetary settlement can take an emotional toll on individuals who have already experienced discrimination or harassment. Revisiting traumatic experiences during the legal process may exacerbate emotional distress. Coping with these emotional challenges while simultaneously pursuing justice underscores the need for holistic support throughout the HRTO proceedings.

Time-Consuming Nature of Legal Proceedings

Legal processes, including those at the HRTO, can be time-consuming. Delays in scheduling hearings, gathering evidence, and awaiting tribunal decisions can extend the duration of the case. For individuals seeking swift resolution, these delays may further exacerbate the challenges they face.

Limited Resources for Documentation

Proving the extent of damages, especially special damages, requires meticulous documentation. However, some individuals may lack the resources to gather comprehensive evidence, such as medical records, invoices, or receipts. The inability to present thorough documentation may weaken the case, highlighting the need for accessible resources and guidance.

Balancing Legal Costs and Potential Settlements

The financial calculus of pursuing a case at the HRTO involves weighing the potential monetary settlement against legal costs. Individuals must assess whether the potential award justifies the expenses associated with legal representation. This financial decision-making process adds another layer of complexity to the challenges faced by those seeking justice.

Acknowledging and addressing these challenges is paramount to fostering a fair and accessible human rights tribunal system. As the HRTO continues to evolve, efforts to streamline processes, provide financial assistance, and enhance support services can contribute to a more equitable pursuit of justice.


In conclusion, monetary settlements at the HRTO play a pivotal role in addressing the repercussions of discrimination. From compensation for damages to special damages, these settlements aim to provide comprehensive redress for victims. As individuals navigate the human rights tribunal process, understanding the nuances of these settlements empowers them to seek justice effectively.

Contact Achkar Law

If you find yourself grappling with the complexities of a potential human rights case, we are here to offer support and guidance. At Achkar Law, we understand the challenges individuals face when seeking justice through the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO).

Reach out to us for a confidential consultation. Our human rights lawyers will listen to your story, understand the facts, assess the merits of your case, and recommend a course of action.

Contact us today at +1 (800) 771-7882 or email [email protected] , and let us help you find the solutions you need to move forward.

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