Making a Complaint
How do I file a complaint?If you feel your boss has violated your employment rights and you want to file a complaint, contact the Labour Program Office nearest you.
If your complaint is related to unjust dismissal or getting payment of wages you are owed, the following information may be helpful.
Can I file a complaint if I'm unjustly fired?Yes. All non-union workers with at least 12 consecutive months of continuous employment with the same employer can file a complaint for an unjust firing.
You must file your complaint at a Human Resources Development Canada (Labour Program) office within 90 days from the date you were dismissed. You can make the complaint yourself, or it can be made by your representative, such as a lawyer. The complaint must identify you, say you were fired, include the date of dismissal, and say the firing was unjust.
What happens after I file the complaint?A Labour Affairs Officer will try to negotiate a settlement acceptable to you and your boss. This could include a monetary settlement, changes to your employment record, or a return to your job.
If the problem isn't solved at this stage, you can request that your complaint go to an adjudicator. Then the Minister of Labour will decide whether or not to appoint one.
If an adjudicator is appointed, there will be a hearing. Both you and your boss can present evidence at the hearing. With few exceptions, the burden of proof is on the employer to prove the firing was warranted.
The adjudicator can make a decision which is binding on you and your boss. If it's found that your firing was unjust, your employer may be ordered to give you your job back, with or without lost wages; pay you lost wages; or do anything else that is fair to remedy the effects of the firing.
These provisions also apply to "constructive dismissals." (See unjust firings)
The adjudicator's decision is final and can't be appealed. Under certain limited circumstances, it can be subject to an application for review by the Federal Court of Canada.
GETTING MONEY THAT'S OWED TO YOU
How do I file a complaint about wages?To find out how to file a complaint, contact the Labour Program Office nearest you.
What happens once the complaint is filed?
A Labour Affairs Officer (federal inspector) will investigate your complaint. If the complaint is valid, the inspector will try to get your employer to pay up voluntarily.
If the inspector decides the complaint is unfounded, you will be notified of this in writing. You can appeal this notice to the Minister of Labour within 15 days of the notice being served. If the inspector decides the complaint is founded, he or she can issue an order to pay. Your employer can appeal this order within 15 days.
A referee will hear the appeal launched by you or your employer. The referee's order is final.
An inspector's payment order (if there's no appeal) or the referee's order can be registered in Federal Court so that it becomes a judgment.
For more information, please visit HRDC Filing a Complaint.