1. How do Applications come before the Tribunal?

An employer, employee, group of employees, or bargaining agent may file a complaint with the Pay Equity Office. A Review Officer will be assigned to investigate and attempt to settle the issue(s) in dispute. (Pay Equity Office site)

You may file an Application for a hearing before the Tribunal if:

  1. The Review Officer has notified the parties that she/he has not been able to effect a settlement and will not be issuing an order; or
  2. A party objects to a Review Officer's order or disagrees with the Review Officer's refusal to consider the complaint; or
  3. The Review Officer refers the matter to the Tribunal; or
  4. A party alleges that a Review Officer's order has not been followed or a settlement between the parties is not being implemented; or
  5. A party seeks the consent of the Tribunal to prosecute for an offence under the Act.
2. What happens at a hearing?

Hearings before the Tribunal are treated as fresh or "de novo" proceedings. They are not an appeal from Review Services. The hearing is conducted much like a court proceeding although the process is less formal and rules of evidence are not applied as strictly. The Tribunal considers the parties' issues, as expressed in the Application and Response, hears evidence, considers the parties legal submissions and gives reasons for its decision.

3. Do I need a lawyer?

No. The decision to be represented by a lawyer or agent is yours. The Tribunal's staff and adjudicators are not able to provide legal advice if you choose to represent yourself.

4. Does the Tribunal have Rules?

Yes. The Tribunal has established Rules of Practice for the conduct of proceedings before it. They are available in both French and English. Go to Forms and Rules.

5. What is a Pre-Hearing Conference?

The Tribunal will hold a Pre-Hearing Conference to:

  • identify and narrow the issues
  • get agreement on the facts, events and documents
  • resolve the application where possible
  • encourage the exchange of all relevant documents
  • identify and attempt to resolve procedural and preliminary objections.
The adjudicator who conducts the Pre-Hearing is not involved in determining the final outcome of the Application.

6. Where does the Tribunal hold hearings?

The Tribunal holds hearings and Pre-Hearings in the following regional centres: Kingston, London. North Bay, Ottawa, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and Windsor. In certain situations hearings also be conducted by the telephone, video or on the basis of written submissions.

7. Can I get services in French?

Oui. Tous les services sont aussi disponible en français.

8. How can I find the Tribunal's decisions?

You can access the Tribunal's decisions through the CanLII.

CanLII: Decisions issued by Tribunal Ontario’s tribunals are available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute’s (CanLII) website. CanLII is a non-profit organization that makes Canadian law accessible for free on the Internet.

Published decisions of the Tribunal Ontario's tribunals are available under the Boards and Tribunals heading of the Ontario section of the site.

The "Government Publications" sections of many public and university libraries carry copies of the Pay Equity Reports (these are annual publications containing the Tribunal's significant decisions). Law school libraries carry the publications of various equity and labour law reporting services, many of which report the PEHT's decisions.