OHS Consultant Loses OHS Reprisal Case

A health and safety consultant has lost his case against his employer, a health and safety association, in which he alleged that he had been retaliated against for raising safety issues.

The consultant alleged that his employer, the Public Services Health and Safety Association, took a number of actions against him including terminating his employment after he raised a number of concerns including excessive hours of work and extensive travel; harassment; the need for a policy on tracking, recording and granting time off; and the fact that he had requested time off to compensation for unpaid overtime that he said he had worked.

The consultant worked out of his residence and traveled around the province.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board stated that “there is no reliable evidence that the Applicant was in fact engaged in attempting to exercise his rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  In particular, there was no evidence that he had raised any specific examples of employees working so many hours that a specific dangerous situation was created in which health and safety was compromised.

As a result, the OLRB dismissed the consultant’s safety-reprisal application.

 Joe Watkins, Applicant v. The Health and Safety Association for Government Services, c.o.b. as the Public Services Health and Safety Association, Responding Party v. Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Intervenor, 2014 CanLII 2275 (ON LRB)



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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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