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Human Rights and Employment Helpline

Nelligan Law is standing in solidarity with the Ottawa community to help eradicate racism in our community.

We recognize that one of the largest issues facing Black, Indigenous and other marginalized groups is systemic and direct discrimination they face related to their employment.

With that in mind, we have expanded our free employment helpline (which originally provided assistance to individuals with COVID-19 employment questions) to provide free assistance to employees in Ontario related to their human rights in employment. The goal is to provide individuals with information related to systemic and direct discrimination they may be experiencing on hiring, in their workplace or after their employment has ended.

Helpline number: 613-231-8334

Available Monday to Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST

That said, the helpline is not just confined to questions of relating to racial discrimination. Individuals with questions about discrimination related to any human rights grounds under Ontario’s Human Rights Code can call to speak with one of our legal professionals. Those grounds are:

  • Age
  • Ancestry, colour, race
  • Citizenship
  • Ethnic origin
  • Place of origin
  • Creed
  • Disability
  • Family status
  • Marital status (including single status)
  • Gender identity, gender expression
  • Receipt of public assistance (in housing only)
  • Record of offences (in employment only)
  • Sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding)
  • Sexual orientation

What is it?

Free access to a 20 minute consult with a lawyer or legal professional to help you navigate your legal questions regarding your human rights in the workplace.

What can I expect?

A 20 minute consultation with a lawyer or articling student who will help you better understand your legal situation, rights and decisions to be made. The information provided is meant to direct your path – if you have a legal issue that merits further legal action, you will be informed during the consultation on how to pursue legal action.  Please note that the lawyers intend to provide brief services. They do not create an ongoing lawyer-client relationship with you.

We can:

  • Help you understand your legal rights;
  • Outline options;
  • Guide you on the process;

We cannot:

  • Provide comprehensive legal opinions or predict outcomes;
  • Review contracts or any other documents;
  • Provide specific recommendations;
  • Provide second opinions;
  • Guarantee representation in court;
  • Take responsibility to prepare any documents unless retained;

Please note that in order to avoid any conflict of interest, specifics related to your situation including employer/employee names and contract details can not be discussed.

Who can call?

This service is for employees needing information about their the workplace.

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide this service to unionized employees. If you are a unionized employee, please contact your union representative.

We are currently able to provide this service for residents and workplaces in Ontario.

  • Each day we will dedicate a team of lawyers to support the helpline.
  • 20 minutes time slots will be available for sign-up on a first come/first serve basis at the start of each day
  • To book a time-slot, please call 613-231-8275. The booking line will be open at 9:00 am. Once your time slot is booked, you will be provided with a call time and meeting details.

Please note, this service has been created in response to systemic and direct discrimination in our community, and as such, is confined to human rights related issues.

Should you require additional services to resolve your situation you may need to hire a lawyer. The objective of this service is to help you understand your options on next steps.



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