The Ontario Labour Relations Board has refused to permit a
teachers' union to expand a safety appeal to several
schools where the Ministry of Labour inspector had dealt with the
issue at only one school.
The inspector had issued an order at one school, requiring the
school board to re-inspect the premises for asbestos. The
teachers' union asserted that the order was
The teachers' union appealed the inspector's order and
asked the Ontario Labour Relations Board to require the school
board to assess its asbestos-management program at all schools in
The OLRB effectively held that an appeal of an inspector's
order may deal with only the issues already put to the
inspector. The inspector must actually turn his or her mind
to the issue and have the opportunity to conduct an inspection,
before the union can advance an appeal in respect of that issue.
Here, the inspector was involved at only one school, so it was not
appropriate to expand the appeal to deal with other
The case is interesting because it indicates that employers can
insist that where employees or a union appeal an inspector's
order or refusal to issue an order, the appeal should deal only
with issues actually put to the inspector and locations visited by
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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