Government of New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 16 protected grounds of discrimination (ex: race, disability, gender identity, family status, etc.) in 5 protected areas of discrimination (ex: employment). If you believe that you have experienced discrimination based on a protected ground, you can file a complaint with the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission.

To file a complaint, you must use the forms approved by the Commission. Complaints can typically be filed for incidents that occurred within the last 12 months. In cases where a continuing violation is alleged, the complaint should be filed within one year of the last alleged incident of the violation.

If your complaint or part of your complaint is not filed within the one-year time limit, you will need to file a Time Limit Extension Request Form along with your Complaint Form. Please consult the Commission’s Guideline on Time Limit Extension for Complaint Initiation when filling out your Time Limit Extension Request Form.

If you wish to discuss a situation you are experiencing and want to know more about filling a complaint, you can contact the commission at (506) 453-2301 or [email protected].  You don’t need to provide your name when contacting the Commission initially, however, it isn’t possible to file a complaint anonymously.

When you contact the Commission, our staff can provide information on how the New Brunswick Human Rights Act may or may not apply to your situation and can also explain the complaint process. They may also refer you to another government agency, organization or to legal advice if your situation does not fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction. If you decide to file a complaint, our staff can send you a complaint kit or refer you to this webpage to retrieve the forms digitally. Please note that our staff cannot provide legal advice or tell you what to include in your complaint form.

If you are unable to fill out the forms on your own, for example due to a disability, and you require an accommodation, please contact the Commission. 



To complete the forms digitally, you will first need to open each form and save it to your computer or device. Do not fill out the forms using internet browsers or applications like Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc. (i.e. do not fill out the forms straight into the tab that opens when you click on the link to each form) as your information will not be saved properly.

After saving the forms to your device or computer, you may fill them out using free Adobe Reader software. Make sure you save the forms to your device after completing them.

Make sure you read each form carefully and complete all the required sections, including checkboxes. For help completing the Complaint Form, you may refer to the Commission’s “Completing the Human Rights Complaint Form” guide or contact the Commission.

Please do not modify or take out any pages from the Commission forms. Any changes to the forms will not be accepted by the Commission and will lead to delays in processing your complaint.

Completed forms must be sent [email protected]. Once you submit you forms, you should receive an acknowledgement of receipt from the Commission. If you do not, please contact the Commission.

Remember these 5 steps:

1- Click on the link for each form to open it.  
2- Save the 3 forms to your device (A,B,
     & C).

3- Fill each form using free Adobe Reader
    software. Do not use internet browsers
    or applications to fill out the forms.

4- Save the completed forms. Make sure all
     sections are completed.
5- Attach all completed forms to an email and
    send them to [email protected] and receive
    an acknowledgement of receipt.

The complaint process

Once you file a complaint with the Commission, you will participate in the complaint process. The complaint process has several stages and can lead to different outcomes depending on the specific details of each case.

Some cases might be resolved through mediation or go up to a Board of Inquiry for a formal hearing, while others might be dismissed by the Director because they lack evidence to support a claim of discrimination. As a result, please note that your complaint may not go through every stage of the process shown below. 

Updated (May 2024) Bilingual Compliance Process Map (700 x 1000 px) - Updated (May 2024)  EN Complaint Process

Intake Officer responds to inquiries (phone, email, etc.) and screens new inquiries, assesses jurisdiction, sends out complaint kits or refers calls to an officer, identifies intakes that may be suitable for pre-complaint intervention.

Complaint is created in the Commission’s tracking system (HRCTS) and assigned to an Officer who reviews the new complaint form. If revisions are needed, the Officer will contact the Complainant to go over the required changes via phone or in person.

Once a complaint form is reviewed and/or revised, it may be dismissed at the Director’s level or moved to Complaint Notification.

Officer calls the Complainant and Respondent (person who the complaint is filed against) to explain the process and offer mediation. If mediation is not accepted or is unsuccessful, the officer collects Respondent Responses to the complaint and Complainant Rebuttals (the Complainant’s counterargument to the response).

If the parties agree to mediate, Mediators are assigned the file for early mediation. Mediators assist the parties in reaching a mutual solution to the matter. Mediation can happen at any time during the process.

Legal Team analyzes the file at this point to assess next steps taken with the file. Options: Director dismissal, mid stage mediation or investigation.

Based on the next steps analysis, the file is assigned to either mediation or investigation.

File assigned to an Investigator for investigation (conduct interviews, gather documents, etc.). Investigator writes a report with their findings and recommendations to either dismiss a complaint or refer it to the Labour and Employment Board.

File assigned to a Mediator (attempts to assist the parties in reaching a resolution).

Commission Members are representatives of the public that review Officer’s reports to decide if a complaint should be dismissed or sent to the Labour and Employment Board for a formal hearing. Members also make decisions on Time Limit extension Requests and Appeals of Director Decisions.

Members can refer the matter to mediation before it is sent to the Labour and Employment Board. Mediation team takes on these files.

After an investigation, the Commission may refer complaints to the Labour and Employment Board for a formal hearing. The Board is the entity that has the power to make a final decision on a human rights complaint. It can make a legally binding decision on whether discrimination occurred and what remedies should be awarded to address the situation.