The HRCO addresses human rights complaints, concerns, issues or matters bought forward by a member of the Board community that relate to Policy #240.0, Human Rights: Code-Related Harassment and Discrimination.
The HRCO maintains an impartial approach when addressing a human rights complaint. Our team strives to explore all perspectives and understand all sides of a complaint. Please note that any complainant who seeks resolution of a complaint must be prepared to be identified to the respondent.
The standard process for filing a human rights complaint is by submitting a HRCO Reporting Form.
Report an Issue
As part of the human rights complaints process, the HRCO will:
We actively listen to the concerns of any member of the Board community seeking advice or information regarding any human rights issue or matter. Strict confidentiality and privacy is guaranteed at all times, which is consistent with the arm's-length position of our office.
We inform Board community members on the human rights complaints resolution processes available to them. Matters that fall outside of Human Rights Policy #240 will be referred to the appropriate dispute resolution mechanism as it relates to other relevant Board policies and procedures.
We facilitate or initiate informal resolution processes as agreed to by the complainant and/or respondent. Refer to our Early Resolutions page for more information on restorative practices such as informal dialogue or mediation.
We support Board community members by respecting dignity and recognizing individual differences throughout the complaints resolution process.
Complaints Process Flow Chart
The HRCO complaints process flow chart below offers a visual representation of the HRCO complaints process.
When to Contact the HRCO
Human rights concerns can be addressed and resolved at all levels within the Board. If you believe that you, or someone you know, has experienced harassment or discrimination, you should first speak to your principal, manager or superintendent. This is your best chance to resolve a concern quickly.
- If you are a YRDSB employee who is a member of a union, you should first bring the matter to the attention of your union representative.
- If you are students or parent, you should first bring the matter to the attention of the school principal (administrator), wherever possible.
Complaint or Advisory Matters
All matters reported to the HRCO are categorized as a "Complaint" or "Advisory".
Matters requiring formal consultation and assessment to determine jurisdiction and whether or not the matter should be addressed under Policy #240. If the matter is determine to be a complaint matter, the HRCO will use one or more of the following processes to resolve the complaint:
Matter requiring guidance on addressing a general human rights concern or question. The HRCO may provide informal consultation on advisory matters, or refer the matter to the appropriate department or unit within the Board.
First Instance or Referral
Human rights complaints can be brought forward to the HRCO at "First Instance" or through a "Referral".
Situations in which the HRCO is the first point of contact. The matter has not been addressed by any other unit at the Board.
Matters which have been first reviewed at another unit within the Board (e.g., Superintendent, Union, Human Resources) and, with consent of the complainant, is referred to the HRCO.
Code-Based or Non-Code
All complaints are also categorized based on whether they connect to one or more of the 17 protected grounds under the Human Rights Code (Code grounds).
Complaints of discrimination or harassment where the negative treatment is directly linked to one or more Code grounds.
Complaints of discrimination or harassment that do not relate to any Code ground (non-Code) and are deemed to be more appropriately addressed under another policy.
The HRCO does not normally deal with non-Code related issues, except to provide informal support as needed. For instance, general harassment or discrimination concerns that do not relate to a human rights protected ground are typically addressed through Policy #250.0, Violence Prevention and Intervention and Non-Code Workplace Related Harassment - Employees.
Further, allegations of behaviour by a staff member or member of school community that violates professional standards, statutory law, or Board polices and/or expectations are dealt with through the Policy #242.0, Standards of Conduct.
The HRCO will also not manage a complaint if:
- It is determined that the matter is clearly not a Code-based complaint;
- The human rights complaints process is not the correct process;
- The human rights component of the complaint is secondary to the main issue;
- A parallel process is underway and has not yet concluded; and/or
- The matter was previously dealt with under another process.