The Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) has recently announced some minor procedural changes effective April 1, 2012. Amongst these changes is an amendment to Rule 41 of the OLRB Rules of Procedure that will allow for complaints alleging reprisals under section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) to be handled through expedited proceedings.
A “reprisal” under the OHSA is an allegation by an employee against his or her employer that they have suffered negative consequences as a result of exercising, or attempting to exercise, their rights under the OHSA.
Significance for Employers:
The practical effect of this change is that it will allow for improved efficiency of process at the OLRB in handling OHSA reprisal complaints and, of particular benefit to employers, is that frivolous complaints made against employers may be resolved more quickly. However, it should be kept in mind that the expedited timeline also means that employers will now be granted less time to respond to any OHSA reprisal allegations proceeding under Rule 41. As such, it will be important for employers to engage their legal counsel as soon as possible to assess exposures to liability and determine the best legal and strategic response to any reprisal allegations.
This blog is provided as information and a summary of workplace legal issues.
This information is not intended as legal advice.