Who can make a complaint in the area of providing entertainment and hospitality services

Section 20 of the Alberta Human Rights Act sets out who can make a complaint of discrimination under the AHR Act as follows:

20(1) Any person, except the Commission, a member of the Commission and a person referred to in section 18, who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person has contravened this Act may make a complaint to the Commission.

(2) A complaint made pursuant to subsection (1) must
(a) be in a form acceptable to the Commission, and
(b) be made within one year after the alleged contravention of the Act occurs.

Section 18 of the AHR Act says:
18 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council  may appoint a director for the purpose of the administration of this Act.

(2) The Minister may appoint any employees that the Minister considers necessary for the purpose of the administration of this Act.

This means a person can make a human rights complaint if they have a reasonable basis to believe that someone has discriminated against them. A complaint may be made on behalf of another individual. Complainants are entitled (but not required) to have a third party, for example, a lawyer or advocate, represent them in the complaint process. If a complainant chooses to pay for help from a lawyer or advocate, the complainant is responsible for the cost.

One exception that allows a specific type of age restriction that does not contravene the AHR Act is benefits for minors or seniors. You can read more about age as a protected ground.

Note: A complaint can only be filed against an entertainment or hospitality provider that provides services that are customarily available to the public. In some cases, private clubs or organizations are not covered by the AHR Act. For more information, see the Alberta Human Rights Commission human rights guide Human rights in the hospitality industry.

For more information about the human rights complaint process, see Making and resolving human rights complaints.

Revised: July 4, 2018



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