The Complaint Process

To read a printable version of the overview of the Complaint Process click here.

What guides the Prohibited Discrimination Complaint Process?

Dalhousie University is committed to safeguarding its students and employees against all forms of prohibited discrimination and personal harassment. As such, Human Rights & Equity Services (HRES) operates in accordance with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act as well as Dalhousie’s policies that fall within the mandate of the office.

HRES acknowledges the concept of intersectional discrimination and recognizes that people’s lives involve multiple interrelated identities, and that marginalization and exclusion may exist because of how these identities intersect.

When appropriate HRES outcomes are remedial in nature. This may involve coaching, conflict resolution and/or educational processes as a way to build knowledge and strengthen skills to effect both attitudinal and behavioural change.

Complaint Procedure Overview - Discrimination

Informal Procedure

  1. A complainant shares their concerns with a Human Rights & Equity Services Advisor who works with them to resolve the matter.
  2. Where appropriate, individuals are encouraged to resolve conflicts through Informal Resolution before proceeding to the Formal Complaint Process.
  3. If an informal resolution is not reached, the complainant decides whether they want to make a Formal Complaint; and if so the Formal Complaint process begins. 

Formal Procedure

  1. A complainant submits a written statement of complaint, which includes the names of the individuals concerned and a detailed description of the alleged conduct that forms the basis of the complaint.
  2. Human Rights & Equity Services establishes whether or not the complaint falls under one of the prohibited grounds of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Code or grounds for personal harassment under the Personal Harassment policy.
  3. Following a determination to proceed, the respondent will be given the opportunity to review complaint documents and respond.
  4. An impartial investigator, who is skilled in the area of the complaint, is assigned.
  5. An investigation of the complaint occurs.
  6. A finding is made by the instigator and communicated through an investigation report.
  7. The finding is reviewed by the appropriate Administrative Head and a decision will be made as to whether or not to accept the findings in the report and whether any referrals or remedial action is required.

Human Rights & Equity Services Advisors are available to both complainants and respondents throughout the complaint procedure, except in cases of Sexual Assault where support through HRES is available to survivors (complainants) only. Referrals to appropriate services for respondents can be made in sexual assault cases.

Contact HRES@dal.ca to request an appointment with an Advisor.