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One of the functions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board is to attempt to resolve applications without the necessity of a full oral hearing. One way of facilitating settlement of an application is through mediation.

The Board employs a number of Labour Relations Specialists and Labour Relations Officers (both are commonly referred to as LROs). LROs are assigned to every Board file to attempt to effect a settlement between the parties. They contact the parties by letter or by phone, and conduct the mediation in person, usually with both workplace parties present (though often communicating with each party individually), or through a series of telephone calls.

LROs are not adjudicators; they do not decide the case. Nor do they represent or advise any of the parties. LROs are professional neutrals with extensive backgrounds in labour relations and employment law. They have considerable knowledge of all Board practices and procedures. Their role is to help the workplace parties reach a settlement of the application. During mediation, they may refer to existing case law as it relates to the issues in dispute in order to assist the parties in realistically evaluating their positions and assessing any settlement offers. LROs do not give legal advice.

In order to encourage frank and open discussion between the workplace parties, LROs consider everything said during the mediation to be confidential. The mediation process is separate from any hearing which may result in the application. LROs do not give their file or notes, or any documents they receive, to the Board in the event of a hearing. Parties are required to bring all their documents and witnesses to a hearing, as if the mediation had never taken place.

If the LRO is successful in facilitating a settlement between the parties, the settlement is reduced to writing and is often incorporated into a Board decision, and the matter is terminated. If a settlement could not be reached, the matter is usually scheduled for hearing.

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Last modified date: September 2004
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Ontario Labour Relations Board
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Toronto, Ontario M5G 2P1
(416) 326-7500