OLRB

News & Analysis as of

“Competent supervisor” obligation relates to competence in safety, not in performance management: OLRB dismisses OHSA retaliation...

A laid-off worker’s safety-retaliation complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been dismissed because it was really a complaint about management’s assessment of his performance – not about safety....more

Reverse burden of proof sinks no-show employer: OLRB awards more than $25,000 for safety-reprisal

An employer that failed to attend a safety-reprisal hearing has been ordered to pay two employees damages of more than $25,000.00. The employees filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board claiming that...more

Teachers’ union fighting for right to refuse work due where students violent

A student’s violent acts in a classroom have led to a dispute about the circumstances in which teachers may engage in a work refusal for safety reasons. The student was described as having a “history of violent behavior”.  He...more

“Industry standard” is not always appropriate safety precaution, and MOL inspector’s “gut instinct” is not enough to ground...

A mining company has won a lengthy dispute with the Ontario Ministry of Labour after satisfying the Ontario Labour Relations Board that the applicable “industry standard” was not appropriate in the case at hand. The...more

OLRB orders employer to reinstate apartment building superintendent allegedly fired for reporting workplace violence

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ordered an employer to reinstate an apartment building “office administrative superintendent” who alleged that she was fired after reporting that her husband, the maintenance...more

Snowplow driver dismissed due to two accidents, not workplace violence “head-butting” complaint

A snowplow driver’s bad driving record, not his workplace violence complaint, was the reason for his dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Vehicle safety and safe road conduct were important to the...more

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

OLRB Agrees to Hear Another Harassment Case

The debate continues as to whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board has jurisdiction to hear harassment-reprisal complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but another Vice-Chair of the OLRB has said “yes”....more

Filed Late, Appeal Of Inpector’s Order Dismissed

A recent Ontario Labour Relations Board decision illustrates the importance of timely filing of appeals of Ministry of Labour inspectors’ orders. The OLRB confirmed that that it had no authority to hear late-filed appeals....more

Illegal For Harassment Program To Allow For “Preliminary Assessment”, Early Dismissal, Employee Arguing At OLRB

A provision in a harassment program allowing for a preliminary assessment of complaints, rather than an investigation, and for early dismissal, violates the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employee is arguing before...more

Wave Of Harassment Cases Coming To OLRB? New Decisions Cause Concern

May an employee, unhappy with how he or she was treated after filing a harassment complaint with the employer, turn to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a remedy? Up until recently, the answer appeared to be “no”. Two...more

Entire Vehicle Was A “Workplace” Under OHSA Even When Only Transporting Employees, Says OLRB

In a decision that affirms a broad definition of “workplace” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that hydro trucks, including their aerial lift buckets, were...more

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...more

Inspector’s Opinion Beat Engineer’s In Request To Suspend OHSA Compliance Order

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has deferred to the opinion of a Ministry of Labour inspector over that of an engineer in refusing to suspend a compliance order issued by the inspector under the Occupational Health and...more

Excessive Hours Of Work Could Be Safety Issue: OLRB

Working excessive hours could pose a safety issue, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held in refusing to dismiss a complaint that the employee was fired in retaliation for raising safety issues. ...more

Employer Violated Workplace Violence Law: Ontario Arbitrator

An Ontario arbitrator has found that an employer violated Bill 168 which introduced workplace violence provisions into Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

Despite Possible OHSA Charges, Employer’s Appeal Of MOL Inspector’s Order May Proceed

An employer’s appeal of a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance orders may proceed, despite the inspector’s ongoing investigation into possible charges, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled....more

Work Refusal Process May Not Be Used To Challenge Employer’s Established Practices: OLRB

In a long-running and bitterly-fought case involving prison guards, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that the work refusal process under the Occupational Health and Safety Act may not be used to challenge existing...more

Engineer’s Report Must Use “Not Likely to Endanger” Language of OHSA: OLRB

An engineer’s inspection report must use the specific language “not likely to endanger a worker” in order to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Ontario Labour Relations Board suggests. Following...more

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