What Does the Ontario Labour Relations Board Do?

The Ontario Labour Relations Board Handles Cases Involving Unfair Labour Practices, Occupational Health & Safety Act Issues, Appeals of Orders of the Ministry of Labour, Among Other Cases.

Understanding Ontario Labour Relations Board Proceedings Including Common Cases, Jurisdiction, and Procedural Rules

The Ontario Labour Relations Board hears disputes involving various issues between employees and employers including matters stemming from the Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1, such as workplace safety violation concerns as well as matters stemming from the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, Chapter 41, such as concerns around rights regarding wages, vacation time, among many other things, as well as issues arising from many other statutes for which the Ontario Labour Relations Board holds adjudicative jurisdiction.  As an independent adjudicative tribunal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board reviews evidence and relevant legal arguments and then, following interpretation and application of the relevant statute law, renders and issues decisions.

For some issues, such as where an employee alleges termination in reprisal followng complaints about Occupational Health and Safety Act concerns, an Application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board may be directly filed; however, for the majority of issues, such as where an employee alleges unpaid wages, or other failure to receive other statutory compensation, the Ontario Labour Relations Board will only hear an Appeal of a decision for a case first heard by the Ministry of Labour.

Procedure Concerns

Notably, the Rules of Procedure for bringing forth a legal matter to the Ontario Labour Relations Board can be complicated and may be strictly imposed.  A failure to properly abide by the Rules, may result in an Application, or a Response, being rejected for failure to comply with the Rules.  Furthermore, thoroughly presenting a case at the Ontario Labour Relations Board is of utmost importance whereas appeal courts will only review whether a decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board was reasonable and thereby making it very difficult to get an Ontario Labour Relations Board decision overturned.

Also interesting, and concernedly so for the loser in a Ministry of Labour hearing that wishes to appeal to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the appeal process requires payment of the Order as issued by the Ministry of Labour.

While most disputes heard by the Ontario Labour Relations Board involve disputes between an employee and an employer, The Ontario Labour Relations Board also heard disputes between a union member and a union involving allegations of breach of duty of fair representation within a grievance matter.

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