Ontario human rights case proceeding against VP, company after it failed to respond to multiple notifications

An iPhone screen showing email notifications. Photo: Torsten Dettlaff/Pexels

A human rights case alleging workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual harassment, solicitation, advances, and sexual orientation is proceeding despite the lack of response from the accused party.

Despite multiple notifications, including a direct Notice of Application sent on April 13, 2022, and subsequent reminders, the respondents, including an executive vice-president and Data & Scientific Inc., have not filed a formal response. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario highlighted the importance of participation, warning that non-response could lead to an assumption of the allegations’ acceptance and a waiver of rights to further involvement in the proceedings.

The Tribunal’s attempts to communicate included emails and regular mail, accommodating the respondents’ request for non-electronic correspondence due to concerns over unsigned letters and potential social engineering attacks.

However, even with these adjustments and explicit directions for a response, the Tribunal received no formal reply, only a letter acknowledging the Notice’s receipt without further engagement.

Drawing on precedent, the Tribunal is poised to proceed with the case based on the evidence presented by the applicant alone, citing the principle that refusal to respond should not undermine the Code’s objectives or the applicant’s rights.

A Notice of Hearing is scheduled for a video-conference via Zoom after March 1, 2024.

For more information, see Aloy-Sadakane v. Data & Scientific Inc., 2024 HRTO 14 (CanLII)