Until recently, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “Tribunal”) would deliver a Human Rights Application to whomever the Applicant listed as the Employer’s contact person. That person, possibly the Applicant’s supervisor or manager, was often not the appropriate person to deal with the Application on behalf of the Employer, leading to delays in the Employer’s ability to respond to the Application.
The Tribunal has taken steps to remedy this problem in its “Practice Direction on Establishing a Regular Contact Person for an Organization”. The new Practice Direction, effective as of November 2015, allows organizations to designate a regular contact person for the delivery of Human Rights Applications. Where such a person has been designated, the Tribunal will rely on that person as the contact for Human Rights Applications, regardless of which person is named as the organizational contact in the Application itself.
If an organization wants to establish a regular contact for the organization, all the organization has to do is send the following information to the Tribunal Registrar:
- Name and position of the person making the request;
- The name and contact information of the contact person, including email address if available; and
- A request that the Tribunal use the named contact person as the organization’s contact in any applications filed with the Tribunal naming the organization.
Should the contact person for the organization change, the organization would be required to contact the Registrar, designate a new contact person and provide his/her contact information.
An organization’s representative is to be distinguished from a personal respondent. Where individuals are named as personal respondents in Human Rights Applications, they will continue to be treated as parties and served separately from the organization.
The Practice Direction is available at: http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/hrto/rules-and-practice-directions/