Canada Labour Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. L-2)

Act current to 2017-09-14 and last amended on 2017-06-22. Previous Versions

Internal Complaint Resolution Process

Marginal note:Complaint to supervisor
  •  (1) An employee who believes on reasonable grounds that there has been a contravention of this Part or that there is likely to be an accident or injury to health arising out of, linked with or occurring in the course of employment shall, before exercising any other recourse available under this Part, except the rights conferred by sections 128, 129 and 132, make a complaint to the employee’s supervisor.

  • Marginal note:Resolve complaint

    (2) The employee and the supervisor shall try to resolve the complaint between themselves as soon as possible.

  • Marginal note:Investigation of complaint

    (3) The employee or the supervisor may refer an unresolved complaint to a chairperson of the work place committee or to the health and safety representative to be investigated jointly

    • (a) by an employee member and an employer member of the work place committee; or

    • (b) by the health and safety representative and a person designated by the employer.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (4) The persons who investigate the complaint shall inform the employee and the employer in writing, in the form and manner prescribed if any is prescribed, of the results of the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Recommendations

    (5) The persons who investigate a complaint may make recommendations to the employer with respect to the situation that gave rise to the complaint, whether or not they conclude that the complaint is justified.

  • Marginal note:Employer’s duty

    (6) If the persons who investigate the complaint conclude that the complaint is justified, the employer, on being informed of the results of the investigation, shall in writing and without delay inform the persons who investigated the complaint of how and when the employer will resolve the matter, and the employer shall resolve the matter accordingly.

  • (7) [Repealed, 2013, c. 40, s. 180]

  • Marginal note:Referral to the Minister

    (8) The employee or employer may refer a complaint that there has been a contravention of this Part to the Minister in the following circumstances:

    • (a) where the employer does not agree with the results of the investigation;

    • (b) where the employer has failed to inform the persons who investigated the complaint of how and when the employer intends to resolve the matter or has failed to take action to resolve the matter; or

    • (c) where the persons who investigated the complaint do not agree between themselves as to whether the complaint is justified.

  • Marginal note:Investigation

    (9) The Minister shall investigate the complaint referred to in subsection (8).

  • Marginal note:Duty and power of Minister

    (10) On completion of the investigation, the Minister

    • (a) may issue directions to an employer or employee under subsection 145(1);

    • (b) may, if in the Minister’s opinion it is appropriate, recommend that the employee and employer resolve the matter between themselves; or

    • (c) shall, if the Minister concludes that a danger exists as described in subsection 128(1), issue directions under subsection 145(2).

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (11) For greater certainty, nothing in this section limits the Minister’s authority under section 145.

  • 2000, c. 20, s. 10;
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 180.
Marginal note:Refusal to work if danger
  •  (1) Subject to this section, an employee may refuse to use or operate a machine or thing, to work in a place or to perform an activity, if the employee while at work has reasonable cause to believe that

    • (a) the use or operation of the machine or thing constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee;

    • (b) a condition exists in the place that constitutes a danger to the employee; or

    • (c) the performance of the activity constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee.

  • Marginal note:No refusal permitted in certain dangerous circumstances

    (2) An employee may not, under this section, refuse to use or operate a machine or thing, to work in a place or to perform an activity if

    • (a) the refusal puts the life, health or safety of another person directly in danger; or

    • (b) the danger referred to in subsection (1) is a normal condition of employment.

  • Marginal note:Employees on ships and aircraft

    (3) If an employee on a ship or an aircraft that is in operation has reasonable cause to believe that

    • (a) the use or operation of a machine or thing on the ship or aircraft constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee,

    • (b) a condition exists in a place on the ship or aircraft that constitutes a danger to the employee, or

    • (c) the performance of an activity on the ship or aircraft by the employee constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee,

    the employee shall immediately notify the person in charge of the ship or aircraft of the circumstances of the danger and the person in charge shall, as soon as is practicable after having been so notified, having regard to the safe operation of the ship or aircraft, decide whether the employee may discontinue the use or operation of the machine or thing or cease working in that place or performing that activity and shall inform the employee accordingly.

  • Marginal note:No refusal permitted in certain cases

    (4) An employee who, under subsection (3), is informed that the employee may not discontinue the use or operation of a machine or thing or cease to work in a place or perform an activity shall not, while the ship or aircraft on which the employee is employed is in operation, refuse under this section to use or operate the machine or thing, work in that place or perform that activity.

  • Marginal note:When ship or aircraft in operation

    (5) For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4),

    • (a) a ship is in operation from the time it casts off from a wharf in a Canadian or foreign port until it is next secured alongside a wharf in Canada; and

    • (b) an aircraft is in operation from the time it first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off from a Canadian or foreign place of departure until it comes to rest at the end of its flight to its first destination in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Report to employer

    (6) An employee who refuses to use or operate a machine or thing, work in a place or perform an activity under subsection (1), or who is prevented from acting in accordance with that subsection by subsection (4), shall report the circumstances of the matter to the employer without delay.

  • Marginal note:Select a remedy

    (7) Where an employee makes a report under subsection (6), the employee, if there is a collective agreement in place that provides for a redress mechanism in circumstances described in this section, shall inform the employer, in the prescribed manner and time if any is prescribed, whether the employee intends to exercise recourse under the agreement or this section. The selection of recourse is irrevocable unless the employer and employee agree otherwise.

  • Marginal note:Investigation by employer

    (7.1) The employer shall, immediately after being informed of a refusal under subsection (6), investigate the matter in the presence of the employee who reported it. Immediately after concluding the investigation, the employer shall prepare a written report setting out the results of the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Employer to take immediate action

    (8) If, following its investigation, the employer agrees that a danger exists, the employer shall take immediate action to protect employees from the danger. The employer shall inform the work place committee or the health and safety representative of the matter and the action taken to resolve it.

  • Marginal note:Continued refusal

    (9) If the matter is not resolved under subsection (8), the employee may, if otherwise entitled to under this section, continue the refusal and the employee shall without delay report the circumstances of the matter to the employer and to the work place committee or the health and safety representative.

  • Marginal note:Investigation of continued refusal

    (10) If the work place committee receives a report under subsection (9), it shall designate, to investigate the matter immediately in the presence of the employee who reported it, two members of the committee, namely, one employee member from those chosen under paragraph 135.1(1)(b) and one employer member who is not from those chosen under that paragraph. If the health and safety representative receives a report under subsection (9), they shall immediately investigate the matter in the presence of the employee who reported it and a person who is designated by the employer.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (10.1) Immediately after concluding the investigation, the members of the work place committee designated under subsection (10) or the health and safety representative shall provide a written report to the employer that sets out the results of the investigation and their recommendations, if any.

  • Marginal note:Additional information

    (10.2) After receiving a report under subsection (10.1) or under this subsection, the employer may provide the members of the work place committee or the health and safety representative with additional information and request that they reconsider their report taking into consideration that additional information. If the work place committee members or the health and safety representative considers it appropriate, they may provide a revised report to the employer.

  • Marginal note:If more than one report

    (11) If more than one employee has made a report of a similar nature, those employees may designate one employee from among themselves to be present at the investigation.

  • Marginal note:Absence of employee

    (12) The employer, the members of a work place committee or the health and safety representative may proceed with their investigation in the absence of the employee who reported the matter if that employee or a person designated under subsection (11) chooses not to be present.

  • Marginal note:Decision of employer

    (13) After receiving a report under subsection (10.1) or (10.2) and taking into account any recommendations in it, the employer, if it does not intend to provide additional information under subsection (10.2), shall make one of the following decisions:

    • (a) agree that a danger exists;

    • (b) agree that a danger exists but consider that the circumstances provided for in paragraph (2)(a) or (b) apply;

    • (c) determine that a danger does not exist.

  • Marginal note:Decision  — paragraph (13)(a)

    (14) If the employer agrees that a danger exists under paragraph (13)(a), the employer shall take immediate action to protect employees from the danger. The employer shall inform the work place committee or the health and safety representative of the matter and the action taken to resolve it.

  • Marginal note:Decision  — paragraph (13)(b) or (c)

    (15) If the employer makes a decision under paragraph (13)(b) or (c), the employer shall notify the employee in writing. If the employee disagrees with the employer’s decision, the employee is entitled to continue the refusal, subject to subsections 129(1.2), (1.3), (6) and (7).

  • Marginal note:Information to Minister

    (16) If the employee continues the refusal under subsection (15), the employer shall immediately inform the Minister and the work place committee or the health and safety representative of its decision and the continued refusal. The employer shall also provide a copy of the report on the matter prepared under subsection (7.1) to the Minister along with a copy of any report referred to in subsection (10.1) or (10.2).

  • R.S., 1985, c. L-2, s. 128;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 9 (1st Supp.), s. 4;
  • 2000, c. 20, s. 10;
  • 2013, c. 40, s. 181.
 
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