Employers sometimes despair over employees who file multiple
claims over the same issue. The Ontario Labour Relations
Board has decided that, at least with respect to safety-reprisal
complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employees
get only one kick at the can, so to speak.
The employee had been dismissed for insubordination after he, in
an insolent manner, refused to do certain work because of the
physical effort involved. The union grieved the
The labour arbitrator dismissed the grievance. In the
course of his decision, the arbitrator found that the employee had
not, at the time of his refusal, identified clearly that there was
a safety issue underlying his concerns.
The employee complained to the Ontario Labour Relations Board,
arguing that his dismissal was a reprisal under the Occupational
Health and Safety Act for raising a safety issue. The OLRB
dismissed the reprisal complaint, stating that the employee could
have – and apparently did – raise the reprisal issue
before the arbitrator. The arbitrator's decision settled
that issue, and the employee could not attempt to reargue the issue
before the OLRB. The OLRB therefore held that it had no
jurisdiction over the reprisal complaint.
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