CAF members and DND employees
Are you a current or former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or a current or former employee of Department of National Defence (DND)? Have you experienced workplace discrimination, sexual misconduct or any form of sexual harassment related to one or more of the grounds listed in the Canadian Human Rights Act?
If you answered yes to both of these questions then you are in the right place. The Canadian Human Rights Commission is here to make sure that your complaint is handled in a fair, independent, trauma-informed, unbiased and confidential manner.
Complaining to the Commission – what you should know
You can file a complaint with the Commission when workplace harassment (i.e. discrimination or sexual misconduct) is linked to one or more of the prohibited grounds listed in the Canadian Human Rights Act. It is a form of discrimination.
Bringing your complaint to the Commission is a free, safe and confidential way for you to seek recourse for what has happened to you, and bring about meaningful lasting change for yourself and for others.
With the implementation of Louise Arbour’s recommendations, you do not have to go through the internal redress process within your organization first.
You can choose to come straight to us.
Remember, sexual harassment is frequently based on more than one ground of discrimination. It can be based on a person’s sex/gender, their sexual orientation, and/or their gender identity and expression. It can also be based on perceived sexual orientation. That is why our team at the Commission considers these kinds of complaints in a way that includes all the various forms of sexual harassment.
Filing a Complaint – Two Options
You have two main options when you come to the Commission:
Option 1: You can start a new complaint with us
When you file a new complaint with us, we will need to know three main things:
- what happened to you;
- how the treatment you received was linked to ground(s) of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act (e.g. your sex/gender, your gender identity or expression, your sexual orientation, your perceived sexual orientation, etc); and
- how this has impacted your work and/or life negatively.
Once you have those three ideas in mind, you are ready to file a complaint with the Commission.
There are several ways you can file a complaint with the Commission. Read about: How to File a Complaint.
Option 2: You can transfer the complaint you started with your organization’s redress process to us
For complaints and grievances involving any form of sexual harassment, you can transfer your existing file by calling our call-centre or emailing us. A trauma-informed Commission officer in charge of processing workplace harassment complaints from CAF members or DND employees will contact you to discuss our process.
Here is how to contact us to transfer your file:
Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
VRS: For Canadians who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, access can be achieved via their own interpreter or via Canada VRS, which provides an interpreter.
What happens next?
If we accept your complaint because it meets the correct criteria under the Canadian Human Rights Act, we will notify you by email, or the method you prefer. Only once we accept your complaint do we notify your employer (or former employer), confidentially, that the complaint is now with us.
From that point, each complaint takes its own unique path through our six-step process. A complaint may go through one or several steps, in the order that makes most sense for your specific situation. We are here to help you through this process.
Read more about our six-step process so you can know what to expect.
Support is available
The Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre (SMSRC) offers support services to current and former Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defence Public Service employees affected by sexual misconduct as well as their families aged 16 and older.
You can contact them to speak confidentially with a trained support counsellor, in either official language, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also request a dedicated coordinator who can walk you through your process, accompany you on appointments, help you with proceedings, or help you with any workplace arrangements you may need.
Here is how to contact them:
- Toll-free at 1-844-750-1648
- Or visit their website: Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre.
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