Your Options for Maternity Leave Complaints

When you decide to make a complaint against your employer for something that happened while on maternity leave or pregnant, you will need to know where to go and what to do first. There are three options to choose from:

1. File a complaint with the Ministry of Labour;
2. File a human rights application; and/or
3. File a lawsuit against your employer.

Provincial Ministry of Labour
The Ontario Ministry of Labour regulates and enforces the employment standards act, which sets out laws for discrimination against pregnant employees. Lodging a maternity leave complaint with the Ministry of Labour is typical effective and expedient.

Human Rights Complaint
Human rights tribunals both federally and provincial adhere to human rights codes, which consider the unfair treatment of pregnant employees as discrimination. These complaints can be filed without a lawyer, although using a lawyer will likely ease the process significantly.

A Lawsuit Against Your Employer
The courts will accept lawsuits that argue violation of provincial or federal legislation and terminations of employment. Of course, if you choose to file a maternity leave suit, you will need an experienced lawyer.
To determine which of these options fit your situation and whether you are able to file your maternity leave complaints in all three places at once, watch Daniel Lublin’s video on the Globe and Mail’s website.