7. Reprisal

Section 8 of the Code protects people from reprisal or threats of reprisal.[114] A reprisal is an action, or threat, that is intended as retaliation for claiming or enforcing a right under the Code.

People with disabilities may try to enforce their Code rights by objecting to discrimination, filing a grievance against an employer, making an internal discrimination complaint to a service provider, housing provider or to their employer, or making an application at the

HRTO. However, there is no strict requirement that someone who alleges reprisal must have already made an official complaint or application under the Code.[115] Also, to claim reprisal, a person does not have to show that their rights were actually infringed.[116]

The following will establish that someone experienced reprisal based on a Code ground:

  • an action was taken against, or a threat was made to, the claimant
  • the alleged action or threat was related to the claimant having claimed, or trying to enforce a Code right, and
  • there was an intention on the part of the respondent to retaliate for the claim or the attempt to enforce the right.[117]

Example: The HRTO found that a man with a visual disability experienced reprisal when his employer abruptly terminated his employment in part due to dissatisfaction that the man had pursued his rights under the Code (he had tried to get accommodation for his disability-related needs and had attempted to deal with alleged harassment by the personal respondent), and the employer’s perception that the man was unhappy with accommodations the employer had provided.[118]

People associated with persons who have complained about discrimination are also protected from discrimination and reprisal.[119]

[114] Section 7(3)(b) of the Codesupra note 7, also specifically prohibits reprisal for rejecting a sexual solicitation or advance, where the reprisal is made or threatened by a person in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person.

[115] Noble v. York University, 2010 HRTO 878 at paras. 30-31, 33-34 (CanLII) [Noble].

[116] Ibid. See also Bertrand v. Primary Response, 2010 HRTO 186 (CanLII).

[117] Noblesupra note 115 at paras. 30-31.

[118] Sears v. Honda of Canada Mfg., 2014 HRTO 45 (CanLII) [Sears] at 199.

[119] Knibbssupra note 64.