A printable PDF version of this information sheet is available.Definition:
Remedy, as applied to complaints brought to the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, is defined as financial and/or non-financial compensation awarded to an individual for actual losses and suffering shown to be a result of discrimination.Objective:
The objective of a remedy is to restore the person who has been discriminated against (the complainant) to the position he or she would have been in had the discrimination not occurred. It is not the purpose of the remedy to punish the person or persons (the respondent(s)) who contravened the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.How are remedies determined?
Remedies are based on Canadian and Alberta legal precedents in human rights cases.
Once an investigated complaint is found to have merit, the Commission is responsible for addressing the interests of both the individual and the public when remedies are applied.
For example, if it is determined that a complainant has lost his or her job because of racial discrimination, the individual's interests would be addressed if the employer was required to do one or more of the following:
- provide an apology to the complainant;
- provide a job reference for the complainant;
- commit to not repeating the behaviour or ensuring the behaviour will not recur in the workplace;
- re-instate the complainant to his or her former job if the complainant wishes to return;
- make financial compensation to the complainant for lost income as well as for any pain and suffering he or she has experienced as a result of the discrimination.
The public's interest would be addressed if the employer was also required:
- to have an education session on human rights,
- to introduce a non-discrimination policy into the workplace.
Complainants have a responsibility to minimize (mitigate) losses and are not compensated for actions which they could have taken, such as failing to look for or accept a job.
The degree of discrimination or harassment will have an influence on assessing what the remedy should be. Each case is unique.
Please note: A complaint must be made to the Alberta Human Rights Commission within one year after the alleged incident of discrimination. The one-year period starts the day after the date on which the incident occurred. For help calculating the one-year period, contact the Commission.
Due to confidentiality concerns, the Commission cannot reply to complaints of discrimination using the Internet. Please contact the Commission by telephone or regular mail if you have a specific complaint.
You can access information about making FOIP requests for records held by the Commission on our Contact us page.
The Commission will make publications available in accessible multiple formats upon request. Multiple formats provide access for people with disabilities who do not read conventional print.