Human Rights Law

The #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum. As a consequence, more women (and men) are feeling empowered and supported to report an incident. Organizations can expect this to result in more complaints of harassment and discrimination.

Lesperance Mendes regularly assists clients with a variety of human rights issues and claims. We provide practical advice and cost-effective legal services to help clients navigate the complaint process, from investigation to resolution. We also recommend ways to prevent discrimination and reduce the risk of a potential human rights complaint.

Discrimination can arise in the context of employment, strata property, and tenancy. Discriminatory conduct might relate to a person’s race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity.

Discrimination does not require an intention to contravene the Human Rights Code. In some cases, a policy or practice that does not appear to be discriminatory will place a heavier burden on a member of a protected group. In the context of a strata corporation, it is unrealistic to enforce a pet restriction bylaw against a resident with an assistance dog. For employers, a change to work schedule might affect an employee’s ability to arrange child care. In such cases, the discriminatory conduct is more subtle than a #MeToo incident. Notwithstanding, reasonable efforts must be made to accommodate the affected person.

Lesperance Mendes has extensive experience dealing with a wide range of human rights issues. We strive to deliver practical legal advice and to find creative solutions that achieve our clients’ objectives. While we typically assist clients to resolve disputes, we also provide advice and tools to help our clients avoid discriminatory incidents, improper conduct and complaints.

Our team provides legal services in connection with all aspects of human rights law, including:

  • Assisting clients to establish and maintain compliance with human rights legislation.
  • Defending human rights complaints brought against employers, strata corporations and landlords.
  • Bringing complaints on behalf of employees, condominium owners and tenants who have been the target of discriminatory conduct.
  • Drafting clear and comprehensive discrimination, harassment and bullying mission statements and policies.
  • Assisting clients to implement procedures for responding to discriminatory incidents and complaints.
  • Advising clients on effective and proactive steps to prevent discrimination and harassment.
  • Assessing complaints of workplace discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.
  • Evaluating the extent and parameters of a “duty to accommodate”.
  • Advising clients on responding to a complaint in a manner that is reasonable, proportionate, and fully addresses the incident.
  • Representing clients at settlement conferences, mediations and hearings.
  • Negotiating and enforcing settlement agreements.
  • Prosecuting or defending applications for judicial review (i.e. appeals) of tribunal decisions.

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact Naomi Rozenberg at 604-685-3911 or