How a worker initiates a section 50 application
A non-unionized worker can make a section 50 unlawful reprisal complaint by filing an application with the OLRB.
A unionized worker can use the grievance/arbitration process in his/her collective agreement to make an unlawful reprisal complaint under section 50 of the OHSA.
Alternatively, a unionized worker can choose to bypass the collective agreement grievance procedure and bring an unlawful reprisal application directly before the OLRB, with or without involving his/her union. In that case, as the claim would proceed before the OLRB instead of an arbitrator, the OEA can represent you if you have fewer than 50 workers.
How an MOL inspector initiates a section 50 referral
A worker who claims to have been fired as a result of exercising his/her rights under the OHSA can consent to having an MOL inspector refer an unlawful reprisal allegation to the OLRB on behalf of the worker.
How a section 50 application or referral is filed with the OLRB
If a worker is starting the process, he/she must complete Form A-53 – “Application under Section 50 of the Act (Unlawful Reprisal),” and include a thorough description of the facts supporting his/her unlawful reprisal claim. Before filing the completed application with the OLRB, the worker must first deliver an “Application Package” to the employer, and to any other party identified in the application who could be affected by the allegation, i.e., the union, a co-worker, etc. The Application Package includes,
- a completed copy of the worker’s application, Form A-53 – “Application under Section 50 of the Act (Unlawful Reprisal)”
- a blank copy of the employer response form, Form A-54 – “Response/Intervention – Application under Section 50 of the Act (Unlawful Reprisal)”
- a completed copy of the notice to the responding party, Form C-26 – “Notice to Responding Party and/or Affected Party of Application or Referral under Section 50 of the Act (Unlawful Reprisal),” and
- a copy of the OLRB’s “Information Bulletin No. 14 – Unlawful Reprisal Applications and Referrals under Section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”
After delivering the Application Package to you (and the other affected parties, if any), the worker has up to five days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays) to file one copy of the application with the OLRB. If this is not done, the claim will be dismissed.
If the process begins with an MOL inspector making a referral to the OLRB with the worker’s consent, the inspector will deliver a “Referral Package” to the worker, the employer, and any other person the worker has identified as a potentially affected party before filing the completed referral with the OLRB. The Referral Package includes copies of Form A-54, Form C-26, and Information Bulletin No. 14, plus a “Referral of Alleged Reprisal” Form that has been completed and signed by the inspector, and signed by the worker, and the MOL’s Fact Sheet #30 – “Information for workers and employers about reprisals.” The inspector delivers the Referral Package to the employer, and then has up to five days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays) to file the Referral Package with the OLRB. Once this has been done, the MOL inspector does not provide the worker with any further assistance in the application process or the hearing. If the referral is not filed within the five days, the claim will be dismissed.
Application Packages and Referral Packages can be delivered to you by hand, courier, fax, regular mail, or any other way the parties agree upon.
All of the OLRB Forms, Notices, Information Bulletins, Filing Guide, and Rules of Procedure are available on the OLRB’s website.
You have only 10 days to respond
The date a document is delivered to a party is the date the document is received by that party. An employer has only 10 days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays) from the date the Application Package/Referral Package is received to file its response with the OLRB. If you do not file your response on time, the OLRB may assume that all of the information written on the worker’s application is correct, and make its decision without further notice to you. You need to respond to the application, and your response needs to be detailed. Include all of the facts you will rely on to argue your case as the process moves forward.
If you have been served with an OHSA unlawful reprisal application you must, in this order,
- complete OLRB Form A-54 – “Response/Intervention – Application under Section 50 of the Act (Unlawful Reprisal)”
- deliver a copy of the completed Form A-54 (and any other documents you are filing) to the worker, and any affected parties identified in the worker’s application/MOL inspector’s referral and/or in your response, and then
- file your completed Form A-54 response, along with a copy of any other documents you have given to the worker, with the OLRB.
The delivery of OLRB forms to the worker and any affected party can be done by hand, courier, fax, regular mail, or any other way the parties agree upon.
Filing a response with the OLRB can be done only by hand, courier, or regular mail. The OLRB will not accept a response that is sent by fax.
If the worker has made an unlawful reprisal claim through his/her union grievance procedure, the time limit for your response would be the same as with any other grievance under the collective agreement.
Please contact the OEA if you have any questions, and/or would like to have help completing your response.