The Ontario Labour Relations Board hears many matters before it such as the acquisition and termination of bargaining rights, unfair labour practice applications, and certification and de-certification applications, to name a few. The Board abides by the rules of the Ontario Labour Relations Board Rules of Procedure.
The Rules of Procedure clearly set out that an application or response, which does not comply with the Rules, will not be processed. All proceedings and responses set out the time periods and limits, commencement, the manner of delivery and filing, and so on.
The application process
An application before the Ontario Labour Relations Board is generally commenced by completing the appropriate form. Applicants are provided with application packages, which provide detailed information regarding the application process.
It is essential for applicants to provide as much relevant information at the outset of the application, to ensure that the process runs smoothly and quickly.
Settlement & Adjudication Process
The Ontario Labour Relations Board will attempt to facilitate a settlement for each application through the mediation process. In any application, the Board would normally attempt to settle with the parties.
The mediation is typically conducted in person; however, it may also be conducted through a series of phone calls. If the Board representative is successful at facilitating a settlement between the parties, then the settlement is reduced to writing, incorporated into a Board decision and the Application is withdrawn or dismissed. However, where the parties are unable to settle, the matter is referred to the hearing stage.
Once referred to a hearing, the matter will take the format of a pre-hearing conference, consultation or hearing. The format, all of which are proceedings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board, will depend on the type of application, the legislation involved and the Board’s Rules of Procedure.
A pre-hearing conference is usually brief and deals with preliminary or procedural matters. Agreements are generally not reached during a pre-hearing conference, but rather the conference is used to direct the parties to do certain tasks to facilitate subsequent proceedings.
Consultations and hearings, although different in the execution of the proceeding, can both result in a determination of the issue.
Consultations are less formal and are meant to expeditiously focus on the issues in dispute and determine whether statutory rights have been violated. In a consultation, it is important that the parties set out all relevant facts that they would rely on during the proceeding in their application or response.
Hearings, on the other hand, are formal. The hearing will determine the rights and obligation of the parties, including who wins or loses. A hearing may also result in the Board’s issuing of declarations and orders or the awarding of money.
The proceeding requires that the parties present evidence, call witnesses and make arguments so that a decision can be made with the facts provided.
How can Zeilikman Law help?
Our experienced labour lawyers can assist with the application or response process. Our lawyers can provide assistance and legal advice regarding how to properly complete the required forms, such as the relevant information that needs to be included.
We are also able to provide experienced legal advice and representation throughout the mediation and hearing process, in front of the Ontario Labour Relations Board. Our experienced lawyers can help, and provide legal assistance and advice throughout every step of the process.
Call us at 905-417-2227 to get started!