The Ministry of Labour and the employer were not required to
hand over certain documents requested by the union in a safety
dispute, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided.
The issue in dispute was whether the employer was required to
de-energize cables prior to entry into "Cable Chamber
428″. A Ministry of Labour inspector decided " no"
and the union appealed to the OLRB. A worker had engaged in a work
The union asked the OLRB to order the MOL and employer to
provide documents in numerous categories identified by the union,
including any injury or near-miss or accident report involving
energized cables from 1999 to present, and any reports of
"cable chamber explosions".
The OLRB decided that the documents requested were not arguably
relevant to the appeal in issue, which dealt only with Cable
Chamber 428. The union's request for documents was "overly
broad and lacks the precision needed to make any production order.
It is also a fishing expedition that could unnecessarily protract
this proceeding". Further, the employer had already produced
numerous documents including those it intended to rely upon at the
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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.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
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.
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