Early resolution is possible at any stage in our process, including before the complaint form is signed if a Human Rights Officer (HRO) believes on reasonable grounds that a violation of the Act may have occurred.
Early resolution is highly beneficial in certain circumstances to avoid the potentially lengthy full process and have parties work together. Early resolutions are not in-depth investigations but an attempt to quickly resolve the dispute.
There are three circumstances where early resolution duringthe inquiry stage, before a complaint has been accepted, may be pursued:
- delay in assessment or processing of a complaint will have a substantially negative impact on the ability of the individual/s to participate in the process;
- the individual/s is facing significant and immediate consequences, such as loss of employment or eviction; and/or
- it appears to the HRO that the matter may be swiftly resolved due to the specific circumstances of the situation.
Possible options at this stage are:
- to provide information received from the respondent to the individual, allow an opportunity for them to counter the information. If they are unable to substantiate their original claims, the HRO will explain that their situation is outside the jurisdiction of the Act and can provide the appeal information.
- to explain to the Respondent that the information they provided could be a violation of the Act and ask if they want to work with the individual to resolve the complaint at this time. If so, encourage parties to work together to mutually resolve the dispute. If not, explain that the complaint will be formalized and an investigation into the complaint would be completed and answer questions about the process.
Early resolution could be applied at any stage of the dispute resolution process. For example, where a formal investigation has been started but the parties have reached a settlement or where the complainant withdraws the complaint.