Notice To Community - March 29, 2020 - Regular updates
Check the notices on the Board’s website regularly, including with respect to the requirements for filing applications with the Board, because they may update and revise previous requirements.
Specifically, please note that, given the current circumstances, the requirements set out in the Board’s notices on the website will supersede any instructions on e-forms, and in particular with respect to the use of email. There is a delay, outside of the Board’s control, in amending these forms and current changes may not be reflected.
Notice to Community March 29, 2020 - Delivery by email for certain applications
Effective immediately, and until further notice, applications delivered by way email will be acceptable to the Board for the following matters: certification applications, termination applications, section 133 grievance referrals and applications for interim orders.
A party relying upon delivery by email will need to confirm to the Board not only that the employer is continuing to operate and carry on business, but also that the email used for delivery is one which can be relied upon for effective notice to the responding party and/or other affected party. Until the appropriate e-forms are updated, a party relying upon delivery by email may provide this confirmation by writing it in on one of the statement boxes on the applicable form, or by way of separate and attached letter.
Notice to Community March 29, 2020 - Required Contact Information
Until further notice, an email or fax number is required for each party to a proceeding or the matter may not be processed further by the Board.
NOTICE TO COMMUNITY – March 25, 2020
The Board has reached the difficult decision to revise its operations until further notice. This decision was made having considered the measures taken by the Government under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and in light of a direction by the Government that employees who do not support critical services and who cannot work remotely remain at home. This decision was not made lightly but is increasingly necessary in order to protect the Board’s employees. Dedicated employees have been diligently attending at work throughout the current crisis to receive and process the applications which continue to be filed at the Board each day.
The Board is continuing to work to increase its capacity to have more staff work remotely from home. Please continue to consult the Board’s website with respect to updates as we work to expand the services available.
The changes below will be effective immediately and until further notice.
- In-person hearings are cancelled up to and including May 4, 2020.
- The Board will continue to accept applications/ responses/ interventions and other submissions and materials. However, all such filings must be made electronically, or they will not be accepted:
To be clear, effective immediately, the Board will be unable to accept applications or any other materials that have been mailed, couriered or faxed. Please note that we have also been advised that the Board’s mailroom will be shut down as of today. If you have sent material in hard copy, and receipt has not yet been acknowledged, it would be prudent to re-send this material electronically.
- All Board forms and other submissions and material must be filed through the Board’s e-filing process, not regular email, courier, hand delivery or fax.
- Certification and termination applications/responses/ interventions may be electronically filed using the Form A-108 (electronic submissions form).
- The Board’s Form A-108 should not be used to file other forms, which can already be e-filed on their own.
- E-filing also applies to correspondence and submissions filed with respect to matters currently before the Board.
The Board anticipates that, when circumstances allow, it will resume regular operations and matters which have been received but not processed will be processed in the ordinary course.
- Although applications may continue to be filed in accordance with this notice, during this time, the Board will process the highest priority matters first, as the Board deems necessary and appropriate to determine on an urgent basis, reflecting the particular urgencies and constraints of the current situation. All other applications will be processed to the extent that they can be further processed (e.g. referred to mediation) in view of the more limited capacity of the Board in these extraordinary circumstances.
- Where possible, matters will be referred to a mediator for mediation by teleconference or email.
- The Board will also be scheduling, where possible, Case Management Hearings via teleconference or videoconference.
- Parties may continue to make submissions requesting hearings by teleconference or videoconference or any other alternative means.
- With respect to certification and termination applications, the Board will continue to accept electronic membership evidence where the authenticity of this evidence can be verified. (See, for example, the discussion in United Steel, 2019 CanLII 123094). During this time, the Board will also accept photocopies of membership evidence. Originals must be retained, and the Board may require the applicant to produce, at a later date, the originals of the membership evidence. Certificates may not be granted until the Board has the opportunity to request and review the original membership evidence.
NOTICE TO COMMUNITY – March 23, 2020
Effective immediately, and until further notice, in light of current public health and government information, the Ontario Labour Relations Board is implementing the following changes:
An order was made on March 20, under subsection 7.1(2) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The order suspends limitation periods retroactive to Monday, March 16, 2020, and also suspends, retroactive to March 16, 2020, any statute, regulation, rule or by-law establishing any period of time in which any step must be taken in any proceeding. This latter suspension, however, is subject to the discretion of the court, tribunal or other decision-maker responsible for the proceeding.
- With respect to certification/ termination/ displacement applications, the applicant will now be required to confirm to the Board that the employer is continuing to operate and carry on business. Changes have been made to the following forms: A-1, A-6, A-71 and A-77.
- While the Board is continuing to hold representation votes electronically, votes will not be held for workplaces closed as a result of the current public health situation. Applicants should also be aware that votes may be delayed.
- With respect to grievance referrals in the construction industry, no default decisions will be issued until the applicant has confirmed to the Board, by way of declaration, that the employer is continuing to operate and carry on business.
- Case Management Hearings for March 18 and March 25 were cancelled. Efforts will be made to schedule upcoming CMHs via teleconference. These CMHs will not be limited to Wednesdays, and may be scheduled for any weekday.
Please be advised that the Board is exercising its discretion NOT to suspend the time periods in which steps must be taken in its proceedings. So long as the required declarations that an employer is continuing to operate and carry on business have been made, the Board will process applications in the usual course. The Board will continue, however, to exercise its discretion to extend timelines at the request of the parties to proceedings, as may be appropriate in all of the circumstances and where there is a specific and compelling reason to do so.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO THE COMMUNITY - Updated March 19, 2020
Effective immediately, in light of current public health and government information, the Ontario Labour Relations Board is cancelling all in-person hearings scheduled until April 14, 2020. The Board will continue to assess the need for the cancellation of hearings scheduled after April 13th. Please continue to monitor the Board’s website for updated notices.
The parties may make submissions to the Board with respect to rescheduling their adjourned hearing to be held instead by telephone or in writing.
The Board will continue to receive applications, responses and any other submissions in accordance with its Rules of Procedure. However, in the circumstances, please be advised that case processing may be delayed.
The Board’s front-line reception area will be closed to the public for walk-in inquiries. Such inquiries may be made by phone, fax or electronic submission (Form A-108). Courier and mail will continue to be received.
All representation votes until April 14, 2020 will be held electronically. This may cause delay in some cases. Please see the Board’s recent notice regarding electronic voting for detailed information.
All in-person mediation meetings scheduled until April 14, 2020 will be cancelled and held instead by teleconference or email.
A4 and A74 Submissions
In the November Issue of the Highlights, the Board invited submissions with respect to the Board’s practice of providing the A-4 to the Responding Parties and Intervenors in s. 8 applications for certification and not providing the A-74 in s. 128.1 applications for certification (Construction Industry). Click this link to view the submissions received by the Board.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Board’s Rules of Procedure have been amended to add Rule 27A (Redefinition of bargaining unit pursuant to section 127(3) of the Act) and Rules 42-45 (Tribunal Adjudicative Records Act, 2019).
TRIBUNAL ADJUDICATIVE RECORDS ACT, 2019
The Tribunal Adjudicative Records Act, 2019 (“TARA”) came into force June 30, 2019.
TARA provides that adjudicative records (as defined in the statute) are presumptively available to the public. Certain records are also expressly excluded by the statute [s. 1(3]). It also provides that parties and affected persons may apply for, and the Board itself may make, confidentiality orders in certain circumstances.
TARA will apply to adjudicative records in all proceedings before the Board that are commenced on or after TARA comes into force. The Board will continue to apply its existing Procedures on Access to Documents and Exhibits Contained in Board Adjudication Files to requests in respect of proceedings commenced before that date.
Statutory provisions governing the secrecy or confidentiality of certain records will prevail over TARA. Such records will include membership evidence or evidence of employee wishes.
Part VIII of the Board’s Rules addresses requests for adjudicative records and requests for confidentiality orders.
The text of the Tribunal Adjudicative Records Act, 2019 is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/19t07. The text of the Regulation providing that certain statutes prevail over TARA is available here: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/r19211.
DEADLINE FOR USE OF PREVIOUS BOARD FORMS
All Board forms were revised and updated during the development of e-filing. Please note that effective May 1, 2019, the Board will no longer accept previous versions of its forms. (Updated forms are PDFs which have the Ontario Coat of Arms at the top left.) Parties are encouraged to access Board forms on its website rather than storing forms on desktops as they may be updated electronically from time to time.
E-filing, including electronic payment, is now available for forms related to construction industry grievances under s. 133 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995. All other filing methods previously permitted by the Board’s Rules of Procedure remain available.
The updated forms for a Referral of Grievance (A-86), Request for Hearing/Notice of Intent to Defend (A-87) and Response/Intervention (A-88) may now be e-filed along with attachments. If a filing fee is required, the filing party will be directed to the online payment page to pay by VISA or Mastercard. The filing party will receive confirmation by email that the form has been submitted and payment, if required, has been made.
For more information, please see HOW TO E-FILE below and Information Bulletin # 20.
E-FILING CORRESPONDENCE AND OTHER MATERIAL
A reminder that the Electronic Submissions Form (A-108) may be used to attach and e-file letters, submissions or other material (subject to size limits). It is not to be used to file Applications/Interventions/Responses or other Board forms, Books of Authorities, Books of Documents or membership evidence.
HOW TO E-FILE
Download the form to your computer and then complete it using Adobe Acrobat only. Do not use your browser to complete the form.
Click here for E-Filing FAQs and the Filing Guide.
- You must have an internet connection, a valid email address and up-to-date Adobe Acrobat in order to submit your form online. You may download the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader from the following website: https://get.adobe.com/reader/.
- Forms may be e-filed by using the SUBMIT button at the end of the form.
- Forms are fillable online and may be saved and printed at any time. Use the Save or Print Form buttons on the form.
- When e-filing, documents can be attached to the forms, subject to a size limit.
- The Applicant is no longer required to deliver a blank response form or Information Bulletin to the other parties.
- Signatures are not required on these forms.
- If a form is e-filed, a confirmation email will be sent upon receipt by the Board.
- The e-filing system is not encrypted nor is it mandatory. Accordingly, you may wish to consider filing your form and any documents by another method permitted under the Board's Rules.
The Board is interested in receiving feedback on the new forms and the e-filing system. Please leave your comments here. You may do so anonymously. Comments will not be included in any Board file.
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT Rules 31.3, 34.2 and 34.3 of the Board’s Rules of Procedure and Information Bulletin No. 20 have been amended to facilitate the launching of the new A-86 and A-87 forms and the Board’s online payment system.
There is no longer a requirement for any party to deliver:
- a blank copy of the Request for Hearing and Notice of Intent to Defend (Form A-87),
- a blank Response form (A-88)
- a blank Payment of Fee by Credit Card (Form A-89)
- a copy of Information Bulletin No. 20
- a copy of Part VI of the Board’s Rules of Procedure