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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.

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 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

When you call the LRS, 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 service by calling:     1-800-268-8326 or 416-947-3330 (within the GTA)

For more information go to the Law Society of Upper Canada’s website at www.lsuc.on.ca  and follow the tabs to “For the Public” and “Lawyer Referral Service”.

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 e-mail ocbi@ontario.ca.

The following is a list of the most common applications which do belong at the Board:

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

Besides the above, there are other, less frequently submitted, types of applications under the Labour Relations Act, 1995. In addition, the Board hears the following applications:

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OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY ACT

  • applications concerning unlawful reprisals for exercising rights under the Act
  • appeals of Ministry of Labour Inspector’s orders (an applicant must have first contacted the Ministry of Labour to receive the Inspector’s order or decision)
  • requests for suspension of Ministry of Labour Inspector’s orders (an applicant must have first contacted the Ministry of Labour to receive the Inspector’s order or decision)

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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 to receive the Officer’s determination)

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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.

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Last modified date: February 2007
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Ontario Labour Relations Board
505 University Avenue, 2nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2P1
(416) 326-7500