Information for respondents
A printable PDF version of this information sheet is available.
The Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission is impartial. The Commission works for both the respondent (the person or organization which has allegedly discriminated against someone) and the complainant (the person who has allegedly been discriminated against) in bringing about a just and fair settlement to a dispute or conflict under the jurisdiction of the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act.
There is no fee for the Commission's services and all information remains confidential. A third party may complain on behalf of another individual and a complainant may stop the complaint process at any time. Conversely, the respondent may offer a resolution at any time during the complaint process.
It is contrary to the Act for anyone to retaliate against individuals seeking advice and assistance from the Commission or anyone assisting the Commission with an investigation.
Often, a person or organization may not be aware they have discriminated against someone. This is why the Commission initially encourages individuals with a complaint to try to resolve the problem on their own. Most people stop the discrimination and correct any inequity it may have caused the complainant when they are told of a legitimate problem or concern.
When someone files a written complaint, a copy of that complaint is sent to the respondent who is given 21 days to respond to the Commission about the complaint. A questionnaire is provided to respondents to help them provide the facts of the case from their point of view.
Once it has been determined that an act of discrimination may have occurred and it falls under the jurisdiction of the Act, Commission staff follow a number of steps to try and help both parties resolve the conflict. (See information sheet titled Complaint process)
Both respondents and complainants have the following rights:
- to be fully informed of the findings of the investigation;
- to offer a resolution at any time during the process; and
- to consult with legal counsel at their own expenses at any stage of the process.
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.