Other Recourse Mechanisms

The list below includes some other available recourse mechanisms that you may wish to consider in determining how best to address the situation. Please note that the list is not exhaustive. It also includes mechanisms that have direct relevance to federal public servants for workplace matters. We offer this for information purposes only.

To ensure that you have the most timely and complete information possible to assist you in your considerations, we would encourage you to consult these websites and to raise any questions you might have directly with the organization in question.

Situation Recourse Mechanisms

Complaints related to staffing involving:

  • The deputy head’s decision to lay-off an employee
  • The decision of a deputy head of the Public Service Commission to revoke an appointment
  • Internal appointments
  • Failure of corrective action following a complaint against an internal appointment that was substantiated
Public Service Staffing Tribunal
Discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, sex, marital status, family status, mental or physical disability, pardoned conviction, and sexual orientation. Federally-regulated employers or service providers - Canadian Human Rights Commission

Harassment complaint – any improper conduct by an individual, that is directed at and offensive to another person or persons in the workplace, and that the individual knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises any objectionable act, comment or display that demeans, belittles, or causes personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat.


Policy on Harassment Prevention and Resolution
(The TB Policy goes beyond the grounds prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act, such as harassment of a general nature, including rude, degrading or offensive remarks or e-mails, threats or intimidation.)

Complaints on violation of language rights:

  • You were not able to obtain services in the official language of your choice in a federal government office that is designated bilingual
  • You are a federal public service employee in a designated bilingual region and you find it difficult to work in the official language of your choice
  • You believe that your opportunities for employment or advancement in the federal public service are limited because of your language of work
  • You believe that decisions made by the federal government will have a negative impact on the vitality of an official language community
  • You believe that the equal status of both official languages is not being respected by the federal government
  • You believe that there has been an infraction of one of the other sections of the Official Languages Act
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Matters related to a collective agreement (terms and conditions of employment, wages, hours, etc.)

List of bargaining agents

Grievance process by the National Joint Council - alternative dispute resolution. Grievances reviewed in light of the intent of the directive and by both management and bargaining agents.

Individual, group or policy grievances

  • Interpretation of collective agreements and arbitral awards
  • Disciplinary action resulting in termination, demotion, suspension or financial penalty
  • Demotion or termination for unsatisfactory performance or for any other non-disciplinary reasons
  • Deployment without an employee’s consent


  • Unfair labour practices
  • Reprisal actions taken for raising an issue under Part 11 of the Canada Labour Code


  • Certification and revocation of certification
  • Determination of successor rights
  • Determination of managerial or confidential positions
  • Determination of essential services agreements
  • Review of prior decisions by the Public Service Labour Relations Board
  • Requests for extensions of time to present grievances or to refer grievances to adjudication
 Public Service Labour Relations Board

Appointment processes

The Public Service Commission can investigate the following :

  • Any external appointment process on the grounds that the appointment did not respect the merit principle or there was an error, omission or improper conduct that affected the selection of the person for appointment
  • Any internal appointment process conducted by the Public Service Commission itself where the appointment authority is not delegated to the department, on the grounds that there was an error, omission or improper conduct that affected the selection of the person for appointment
  • Any appointment process that the Public Service Commission has reason to believe was not free of political influence 
  • Any appointment process that the Public Service Commission has reason to believe was tainted by fraud
Public Service Commission of Canada
Any alleged mishandling of your personal information – for example, if you have encountered problems in accessing personal information or if you think the federal government or a private sector organization is collecting too much of your personal information Office of the Privacy Commissioner
Access to information complaint – if you feel that an information request was not properly handled by a federal institution (for example, processing delays, denial of information, fees required and official languages concerns)  Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
Occupational health and safety – workers covered by federal legislation are covered by the Canada Labour Code; all other workers are covered by the health and safety legislation of the province in which they work

Canada Labour Code

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Problems affecting professional or personal lives, such as marital and family problems, work-related problems, interpersonal conflict Employee Assistance Program
Conflicts in the workplace

Informal Conflict Resolution Advisors in your organization

  • To prevent conflict escalation by managing and resolving conflicts quickly and constructively through face-to-face dialogue between the parties in conflict
Complaints of alleged improper political activity concerning an employee or a deputy head Public Service Commission

Disclosure of wrongdoing in the federal public sector

  • a contravention of any Act of Parliament or of the legislature of a province or any regulations made under any such act
  • a misuse of public funds or a public asset
  • a gross mismanagement in the public sector
  • an act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health or safety of persons, or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of the duties or functions of a public servant
  • a serious breach of a code of conduct established by Treasury Board or by an organization, as required by the Act
  • knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit a wrongdoing as defined above.

Immediate supervisor

Senior Officers responsible for internal disclosure in your organization (Treasury Board Secretariat list)

Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada

Reprisal complaints – any of the following measures taken at work against a public servant because he or she has made a protected disclosure or has, in good faith, cooperated in an investigation into a disclosure:

  • a disciplinary measure
  • the demotion of the public servant
  • the termination of employment of the public servant, including, in the case of a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a discharge or dismissal
  • any measure that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of the public servant
  • a threat to take any of these measures or directing a person to do so. 
Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada