OLRB has no authority to order government investigation of safety-reprisal complaint

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that it has no authority to order the Ontario Ministry of Labour to conduct an investigation into an employee’s safety-reprisal complaint, nor could the OLRB base its decision on the results of any such investigation.

The employee, in his safety-reprisal application to the OLRB, stated:

“Therefore, I am requesting the Ontario Labour Relations Board to order a full investigation using any government authority that is appropriate to carry out this investigation. I am asking the Board to make it’s [sic] decisions based on the outcome of this investigation if the investigation is ordered.”

The OLRB held that it had “no authority to do so in any circumstances, and certainly not in a section 50 application.  The Board will deal with appeals from an inspector’s decision or failure to make a decision.  In a section 50 application the Board will adjudicate a claim that an employer has take action against a worker for exercising a right under the Act.  That is a dispute between an employer and a worker and does not involve the Occupational Health and Safety Branch at all.”

Mr X v TJX Canada/Winners Merchants International, 2013 CanLII 68260 (ON LRB)

Adrian Miedema

About Adrian Miedema

Adrian is a partner in the Toronto Employment group of Dentons Canada LLP. He advises and represents public- and private-sector employers in employment, health and safety and human rights matters. He appears before employment tribunals and all levels of the Ontario courts on behalf of employers. He also advises employers on strategic and risk management considerations in employment policy and contracts.

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