Disclaimer: This resource has been prepared to help the workplace parties understand some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and regulations. It is not legal advice. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations. For further information please see full disclaimer.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour sets, communicates and enforces workplace standards related to occupational health and safety, employment rights and responsibilities, and labour relations. When workers allege that their employer has penalized them for exercising their rights and responsibilities under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), inspectors
If a worker has been fired, inspectors may — with the worker’s consent — refer the worker’s description of the alleged reprisal to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) and provide copies of the referral to the employer, the trade union (if any), and to any other organization affected by the alleged reprisal.
Health & Safety Contact Centre
The OLRB is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal that mediates and adjudicates employment and labour relations matters under Ontario statutes. Workers who believe their employer has penalized them because they have exercised their rights and responsibilities under the OHSA can file a complaint with the OLRB. There is no fee for this. Unions may file a grievance on behalf of members under the collective agreement or help member workers complain directly to the OLRB.
The Office of the Worker Adviser (OWA) is an independent agency of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The OWA provides free advice and assistance to non-union workers who have experienced reprisal under the OHSA. OWA staff can file applications to the OLRB and provide representation to workers at mediations and hearings.
The clinic provides free information, legal advice and representation to low-income workers who face health and safety problems at work, including those who have been penalized for raising health and safety concerns.
The Office of the Employer Adviser (OEA) is an independent agency of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The OEA provides free education, advice and representation to employers with fewer than 50 employees in responding to allegations of reprisal brought to the OLRB.
The Law Society of Upper Canada has several services for finding professional legal help. The society can refer callers to a lawyer who may provide a free initial consultation.
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Disclaimer: This web resource has been prepared to assist the workplace parties in understanding some of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the regulations. It is not intended to replace the OHSA or the regulations and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation.
It is the responsibility of the workplace parties to ensure compliance with the legislation. This web resource does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel.
While this web resource will also be available to Ministry of Labour inspectors, they will apply and enforce the OHSA and its regulations based on the facts as they may find them in the workplace. This web resource does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.