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What should I do if I have a hearing or consultation with the Ontario Labour Relations Board?

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What should I do if I have a hearing or consultation with the Ontario Labour Relations Board?
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Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic
Ontario Labour Relations Board

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What should I do if I have a hearing or consultation with the Ontario Labour Relations Board?
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Reviewed: 
March 31, 2018
Answer

Before you have a hearing or consultation at the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), you must:

  • Give your application to the OLRB. This is called "filing" your application.
  • Work with a Labour Relations Officer to see if you and your employer can agree on a solution.
  • Get a Notice of Consultation or Hearing from the OLRB. The Notice of Consultation or Hearing tells you where and when your consultation or hearing will happen.

Your role

Consultations are less formal than hearings. At a consultation, your job is to answer the Vice-Chair's questions about what happened. The Vice-Chair makes decisions at the OLRB.

At a hearing, you have a bigger role. You can make statements, bring witnesses, and question your employer's witnesses.

You should bring a few copies of any documents you want to use as evidence because you might have to give them to other people who are there. Evidence is information or documents that prove what happened.

How to do well at your hearing or consultation

Evidence is very important in consultations and hearings. Bring as much evidence as you can to prove everything that happened.

When you show the Vice-Chair a document as evidence, you should be able to explain what it proves and why it matters.

You could also bring witnesses. Your witnesses will be able to tell the Vice-Chair what they saw or heard. Your employer will also be able to ask them questions.

Before your hearing, review the facts about your complaint. Decide what's most important so you can focus on that. Write down all the events that happened, in the order they happened. This can help you explain things more clearly.

When you're at your consultation or hearing, try to stay calm as you present your information.

If you don't understand what’s happening, you can ask the Vice-Chair a question.

Make sure you talk about all the facts that are important.

Get legal help

If you don't have a union, you should try to get legal help with your OLRB claim.

A lawyer can give you advice about the law, draft your application, and represent you in your hearing.

The Law Society Referral Service can give you the name of a lawyer or paralegal you can consult with for free, for up to 30 minutes.

JusticeNet is a program for Canadians with low or moderate incomes. It connects people with lawyers and paralegals who charge lower legal fees based on your income.

You could also contact the Workers' Health & Safety Legal Clinic, which helps people with low incomes who are having health and safety problems at work.

If you've been injured or punished by your employer for complaining about harassment, you can also contact the Office of the Worker Adviser. They can give you information and legal advice if you don't have a union.

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