Since the time for responding to an application is 35 days from the delivery date of the notice of application from the HRTO, employers should contact legal counsel immediately upon receiving the application.
Responding to the application from the HRTO requires the filing of standard forms, in addition to providing a fulsome answer to the applicant’s allegations. Employers should be prepared to answer each allegation and provide a rebuttal. All relevant documents, company human rights policies, and list of witnesses should be provided to counsel before filing a response with the HRTO.
In some circumstances, the employer will not necessarily need to file a response. For example, where a respondent-employer seeks to have an application dismissed because they are federally regulated, the matter is already before the courts, there has already been a human rights complaint about the same matter, or the matter deals with events that were subject to a previous settlement, the HRTO may dismiss the application at the outset. Seeking immediate legal counsel may assist in resolving the matter in a timely, cost-effective manner.