Dispelling the myth of the $10,000 cap

The Ontario Human Rights Commission can, and does, award more than $10,000 in cases it handles
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today

There is a common misperception in both the corporate and legal world that, in Ontario, the Human Rights Commission cannot award more than $10,000 to a complainant.

While it is true that damages awarded by the commission are generally lower than by Canadian courts (which are, in turn, generally lower than those awarded by American courts), the $10,000 “cap” is misunderstood. It is not a cap on the total amount of damages that can be awarded, but a cap on the damages for mental anguish associated with each violation. General damages for each violation are theoretically unlimited, although the commission has kept awards relatively low.