Does Your Concern Fall Under the Board?

The Ontario Labour Relations Board receives many different kinds of applications, under a variety of Ontario laws. However, not all applications are properly before the Board. Some belong to other tribunals; others should be heard by the civil courts, or by private arbitration, and still others need to be initiated within other areas of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

If you have a complaint about discrimination in your workplace, you should contact the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario at 416-326-1312 or www.hrto.ca.

If you have a complaint about your pay, hours of work, overtime, vacation or holiday entitlements, termination or severance pay, and you are not represented by a trade union, you should call the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Employment Standards Call Centre at 1-800-531-5551. You can also get information on these topics from the Ministry's website: www.labour.gov.on.ca

There is a Law Society of Ontario on-line referral service available to residents of Ontario. It will provide you with the name of a lawyer who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options. You can access the Law Society Referral Service at www.lsuc.on.ca or by calling LSRS directly - 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 (within the GTA), Monday - Friday between 9 am - 5 pm.

If you are looking for information relating to Collective Bargaining (e.g. current trends and highlights, the existence of collective agreements, collective agreement expirations etc. you should call 416-326-1260 or get information from the Ministry’s website: www.lrs.labour.gov.on.ca/en/main.htm

Labour Relations Act, 1995

  • Applications to certify trade unions (establishing bargaining rights) in a workplace (in construction and non-construction settings)
  • Applications to decertify trade unions (also called terminating bargaining rights) in a workplace (in construction and non-construction settings)
  • Applications for a direction that a first collective agreement be settled by arbitration where the workplace parties have been unable to sign their first agreement
  • Applications for a declaration concerning the status of a successor trade union
  • Applications concerning the status of an employer (in the context of a sale of a business or one employer’s relatedness to one or more other employers)
  • Applications concerning a trade union’s duty of fair representation of its members
  • Applications concerning a trade union’s duty of fair referral of its members
  • Applications concerning unfair labour practices by any workplace party
  • Applications for a religious exemption from having to pay dues to a trade union
  • Applications concerning work assignment (also known as jurisdictional disputes)
  • Applications concerning illegal strikes or lockouts
  • Applications concerning early termination of collective agreements
  • referrals of grievances to arbitration in the construction industry
  • Applications for accreditation in the construction industry requests for reconsideration of Board decisions
In addition to the above, there are other, less frequently submitted, types of applications under the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

Occupational Health & Safety Act

  • Applications concerning unlawful reprisals for exercising rights under the Act
  • Appeals of Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Inspector’s orders (an applicant must have first contacted the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to receive the Inspector’s order or decision)
  • Requests for suspension of Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Inspector’s orders (an applicant must have first contacted the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to receive the Inspector’s order or decision)

Employment Standards Act

  • Applications for review of Employment Standards Officer’s order to pay or refusal to issue an order to pay (an applicant must first have contacted the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to receive the Officer’s determination)

Statutes of Limited Jurisdiction

Finally, there are other statutes where the Board has limited jurisdiction to hear certain types of applications:

  • Colleges Collective Bargaining Act (duty of fair representation; employee status)
  • Smoke-Free Ontario Act (unlawful reprisals)
  • Environmental Protection Act (unlawful reprisals)
  • Environmental Bill of Rights Act (unlawful reprisals)
  • Public Service Labour Relations Transition Act (determination of bargaining rights)
  • Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act (determination of essential services)
If you are unable to find your concern in the above listing, or are unsure of whether your problem or concern falls under the jurisdiction of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, you may call the Board at (416) 326-7500, or seek advice from a lawyer.
The Board's Jurisdiction

It is important that you ensure that the application you intend to file with the Ontario Labour Relations Board is a matter that falls within the Board’s authority. The Board is mandated to handle a variety of different applications, under a number of different pieces of legislation.

The full text of Ontario legislation and regulations can be accessed on the e-Laws website.

The Board currently has responsibility under the following statutes:

Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c.10

Colleges Collective Bargaining Act, 2008, S.O. 1990, c.5

Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1993, S.O. 1993, c.38

Education Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.2

Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c.32

Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c.41

Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993, S.O. 1993, c.28

Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.19, which gives the Board jurisdiction under the following legislation:

  • Environmental Assessment Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.18
  • Environmental Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.19
  • Ontario Water Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O.40
  • Pesticides Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.11
  • Fisheries Act, R.S.C. 1985, c.F-14
  • Nutrient Management Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 4
  • Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 32
  • Toxic Reductions Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c. 19

Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c. 4

Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.14

Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O. 1995, c.1

Local Health System Integration Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.4

Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, S.O. 2007, c.8

Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.O.1

Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c. 22

Ontario Provincial Police Collective Bargaining Act, 2006, S.O. 2006 c. 35, Schedule B

Protecting Child Performers Act, 2015, S.O. 2015, c.2

Public Inquiries Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c.33, Schedule 6

Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c.35, Schedule A

Public Sector Dispute Resolution Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c.21, Schedule A

Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997, S.O. 1997, c.21, Schedule B

Retirement Homes Act, 2010, S.O. 2010, c.11

School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 5

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, S.O. 1994, c.10

If you believe that your matter falls under one of these statutes, you may make an application to the Board.