Human Rights Proceedings

Cohen Highley’s Administrative Law legal advisors act for employers, municipal corporations, residential landlords and business entities in relation to Ontario Human Rights Code (Code) proceedings and risk management.

The Code effectively “trumps” all other provincial laws. It is critical for business entities to be aware of the implications of the Code in their dealings with members of the public and, in particular, with their employees. Greater access to Code proceedings and increased penalties for Code infractions make Code proceedings an attractive venue for claimants seeking cash settlements.

There is a high risk of exposure for businesses which have failed to implement risk management measures that include training in Code obligations and implementation of proper Human Rights Policies.


We can help you:

  • Formulate and implement effective strategies in human resources management and in developing corporate policies to ensure your business entity complies with the Code.
  • Develop strategies to successfully negotiate quick mediated settlements of Code proceedings through practical, positive negotiations.
  • Identify vulnerable policies and procedures within your organization which may expose you to Code claims and suggest alternatives which are Code compliant and which will protect you in the event claims are made.
  • Negotiate with Human Rights Investigators in order to minimize your liability and expenses when responding to Code proceedings.
  • Represent your interests before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and Ontario Superior Court in relation to Code proceedings.

Our experience in dealing with Code complaints enables us to assess and plan cases expeditiously and effectively. Extensive knowledge of Ontario Human Rights Commission policies and guidelines, provincial statutes subject to the Code; and the Court system allows us to provide our clients with effective strategies in dealing with Code proceedings.


We have Code advocacy and risk management experience as well as negotiating experience necessary to maximize leverage and minimize liability when responding to Code complaints on behalf of clients. We have the experience necessary to provide you with timely advice and proactive solutions to Code issues, including the development of risk management strategies intended to avoid Code proceedings and to protect you in the event Code issues arise. Our lawyers have gained experience in Code proceedings by actively participating in Continuing Legal Education programs; by presenting academic papers dealing with Human Rights issues; and by participating with employer and industry organizations in the formulation of policy relating to the Code. Our clients include prominent housing industry organizations; land development companies; business corporations and municipalities.

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