Q. What’s the first thing I need to do?
A. You should think about whether or not you want to try to settle the complaint.
In the first letter you received from the Human Rights Tribunal it should indicate if the Complainant agrees to attend at an Early Settlement Meeting ("ESM") or not. An ESM is an opportunity to meet quickly (in 3-4 months) and try to mediate (discuss and agree to resolve) the complaint. A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Member (Judge) will attend the mediation to assist the parties to reach settlement. The Tribunal Member will not however, act as a judge, and will not force a settlement on either party. If the parties do not agree to settle, then you will be required to file your Response to the Complaint (Defense).
If the Complainant and/or you indicate that you do not want to attend at the ESM the letter from the Tribunal will indicate a date by when you need to file your Response to the Complaint. This will usually be about a month after you got the letter.
You do not have to attend at an ESM if you do not want to, you can just go ahead and file your Response, but you should probably attempt to get some legal advice first. The Tribunal’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rule 13) indicates how to respond to a complaint.