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Four Remedies A Human Rights Lawyer Should Ask For

According to the Ontario Human Rights Code (the ‘Code’), there are several remedies a human rights lawyer should ask for according to the Ontario Human Rights Code (the ‘Code’) that the Human Rights Tribunal can award to applicants. Monetary compensation is the most common remedy, but other non-monetary remedies are available under the Code. This article will provide a brief overview of four remedies a Human Rights Lawyer should ask for, specifically under the Human Rights Code at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT).

1. How A Human Rights Lawyer Can Seek to Remedy The Loss Of Benefits Due To Discrimination

If you were unable to work and access benefits due to discrimination, one of the common remedies a human rights lawyer can seek is the award is for lost wages and benefits from the Tribunal. Generally, this award is not restricted to common law notice. In some scenarios, lost wages can be awarded from the time of discrimination leading to the time of a hearing. Similar to civil proceedings, the Tribunal will assess mitigation and subtract any income earned during the process from any lost wages. 

2. How To Remedy A Humiliating and Difficult Situation

Suppose you did not experience any loss in wages, but the situation was humiliating and difficult. In that case, a human rights lawyer will seek general damages as an award for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect under the ‘Code.’ This award is free from taxes.

It is important to note; generally, there is no hard cap on any of the remedies under the Code. As a result, there has been a sizable increase in awards for general damages over time. When assessing the extent of damages and compensation, recent case law has shown that the Tribunal will look at the following factors:

  • The humiliation experienced by the applicant
  • The extent of hurt feelings experienced by the applicant 
  • The applicant’s loss of self-respect 
  • The experience of victimization
  • The seriousness, frequency, and duration of the offensive treatment

3. How To Remedy Expenses Caused By Discrimination

If an employee incurs expenses due to discrimination faced they would not have otherwise incurred, a human rights lawyer will ask for reimbursement of such expenses. 

Another similarity between the Tribunal and the civil court is the ability to order out-of-pocket expenses and interest. These expenses can include, among other things:

  • Job search costs
  • Relocation expense 
  • Medical expenses
  • Any expenses incurred due to the infringement

Additionally, the Tribunal can award pre-judgment interest from the date of the breach and post-judgment interest from the decision date.

4. Monetary Versus Non-Monetary Remedies

In some instances, a human rights lawyer may get creative and ask for monetary and non-monetary damages. Non-monetary damages can come in the form of: 

  • An apology
  • A neutral letter of reference
  • Reinstatement of position
  • Implementing workshops or programs within the workplace or organization
  • Mandating the Code to be posted throughout the organization

Reinstatement can be an appealing remedy to seek, especially because it is a rare award outside of the tribunal context. However, it is important to note that such an award may be difficult or inappropriate to award when: 

  • The relationship between the employer and employee has broken down or become poisoned
  • The employee is already re-employed by the time of the hearing


There are several remedies a human rights lawyer can seek if your human rights have been infringed. These remedies include but are not limited to: loss benefits, general damages or expenses caused by discrimination or humiliation, and in some cases, can include other monetary or non-monetary remedies.

Contact Us

If you are being accused of human rights violations or believe your human rights are being violated, our team of experienced employment lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at +1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and a human rights lawyer will be able to answer your questions.

If you are a small or medium-sized company looking for full-service support with a same-day response, visit our CLO Program page for our strategic solutions.

Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to serve as or should be construed as legal advice and is only to provide general information. It is in no way particular to your case and should not be relied on in any way. No portion or use of this blog will establish a lawyer-client relationship with the author or any related party. Should you require legal advice for your particular situation, fill out the contact form, call (800) 771-7882 or email [email protected].