Bill 109, Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015

Flynn, Hon Kevin Daniel Minister of Labour

Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number: S.O. 2015 C.34

Viewing: Royal Assent (current version) pdf

Bill 109                                                       2015

An Act to amend various statutes with respect to employment and labour

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Contents of Act

   1.  This Act consists of this section, sections 2 and 3 and the Schedules to this Act. 

Commencement

   2.  (1)  Subject to subsections (2) and (3), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Same

   (2)  The Schedules to this Act come into force as provided in each Schedule. 

Same

   (3)  If a Schedule to this Act provides that any provisions are to come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor, a proclamation may apply to one or more of those provisions, and proclamations may be issued at different times with respect to any of those provisions.

Short title

   3.  The short title of this Act is the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015.

Schedule 1
fire protection and prevention act, 1997

   1.  The definition of “Minister” in subsection 1 (1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 is amended by adding “unless the Part provides otherwise” at the end.

   2.  Subsection 41 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following definitions:

“association” means an association of firefighters that is entitled under section 46 to represent and act as the bargaining agent for firefighters in a bargaining unit for the purposes of collective bargaining under this Part; (“association syndicale”)

“Minister” means the Minister of Labour; (“ministre”)

“trade union” means a trade union as defined in the Labour Relations Act, 1995. (“syndicat”)

   3.  The heading before section 46.1 and subsection 46.1 (1) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Unfair Labour Practices

Duty of fair representation by association

   (1)  An association shall not act in a manner that is arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith in the representation of any of the firefighters in the bargaining unit it represents, whether or not they are members of the association.

   4.  Sections 46.2 to 46.5 of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Employers not to interfere with associations

   46.2  No employer or employers’ organization and no person acting on behalf of an employer or an employers’ organization shall participate in or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of an association or the representation of firefighters by an association or contribute financial or other support to an association, but nothing in this section shall be deemed to deprive an employer of the employer’s freedom to express views so long as the employer does not use coercion, intimidation, threats, promises or undue influence. 

Associations not to interfere with employers’ organizations

   46.3  No association and no person acting on behalf of an association shall participate in or interfere with the formation or administration of an employers’ organization or contribute financial or other support to an employers’ organization. 

Employers not to interfere with firefighters’ rights

   46.4  No employer, employers’ organization or person acting on behalf of an employer or an employers’ organization,

  (a)  shall refuse to employ or to continue to employ a person, or discriminate against a person in regard to employment or any term or condition of employment because the person was or is a member of an association or was or is exercising any other rights under this Part;

  (b)  shall impose any condition in a contract of employment or propose the imposition of any condition in a contract of employment that seeks to restrain a firefighter or a person seeking employment from becoming a member of a trade union or exercising any other rights under this Part; or

   (c)  shall seek by threat of dismissal, or by any other kind of threat, or by the imposition of a pecuniary or other penalty, or by any other means to compel a firefighter to become or refrain from becoming or to continue to be or to cease to be a member or officer or representative of an association or to cease to exercise any other rights under this Part. 

No interference with bargaining rights

   46.5  (1)  No employer, employers’ organization or person acting on behalf of an employer or an employers’ organization shall, so long as an association represents the firefighters in a bargaining unit, bargain with or enter into a collective agreement with any person or another association, trade union or council of trade unions on behalf of or purporting, designed or intended to be binding upon the firefighters in the bargaining unit or any of them.

Same

   (2)  No person, association, trade union or council of trade unions shall, so long as another association continues to be entitled to represent the firefighters in a bargaining unit, bargain with or enter into a collective agreement with an employer or an employers’ organization on behalf of or purporting, designed or intended to be binding upon the firefighters in the bargaining unit or any of them. 

Intimidation and coercion

   46.6  No person, association or employers’ organization shall seek by intimidation or coercion to compel any person to become or refrain from becoming or to continue to be or to cease to be a member of an association or of an employers’ organization or to refrain from exercising any other rights under this Part or from performing any obligations under this Part. 

Persuasion during working hours

   46.7  Nothing in this Part authorizes any person to attempt at the place at which a firefighter works to persuade the firefighter during the firefighter’s working hours to become or refrain from becoming or continuing to be a member of an association or a trade union.

Protection of witnesses’ rights

   46.8  (1)  No employer, employers’ organization or person acting on behalf of an employer or employers’ organization shall,

  (a)  refuse to employ or continue to employ a person;

  (b)  threaten dismissal or otherwise threaten a person;

   (c)  discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a term or condition of employment; or

  (d)  intimidate or coerce or impose a pecuniary or other penalty on a person,

because of a belief that the person may testify in a proceeding under this Part or because the person has made or is about to make a disclosure that may be required in a proceeding under this Part or because the person has made an application or filed a complaint under this Act or has participated in or is about to participate in a proceeding under this Part.

Same

   (2)  No association or person acting on behalf of an association shall,

  (a)  discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a term or condition of employment; or

  (b)  intimidate or coerce or impose a pecuniary or other penalty on a person,

because of a belief that the person may testify in a proceeding under this Part or because the person has made or is about to make a disclosure that may be required in a proceeding under this Part or because the person has made an application or filed a complaint under this Act or has participated in or is about to participate in a proceeding under this Part. 

Removal, etc., of posted notices

   46.9  No person shall wilfully destroy, mutilate, obliterate, alter, deface or remove or cause to be destroyed, mutilated, obliterated, altered, defaced or removed any notice that the Board has required to be posted during the period that the notice is required to be posted. 

   5.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Deduction and remittance of association dues

   52.1  (1)  Subject to section 52.3, where an association so requests, there shall be included in the collective agreement between the association and the employer of the firefighters a provision requiring the employer to deduct from the wages of each firefighter in the unit affected by the collective agreement, whether or not the firefighter is a member of the association, the amount of the regular association dues and to remit the amount to the association, forthwith. 

Definition

   (2)  In subsection (1),

“regular association dues” means,

  (a)  in the case of a firefighter who is a member of an association, the dues uniformly and regularly paid by a member of the association in accordance with the constitution and by-laws of the association, and

  (b)  in the case of a firefighter who is not a member of an association, the dues referred to in clause (a), excluding any amount in respect of pension, superannuation, sickness insurance or any other benefit available only to members of the association. 

Permissive provisions

   52.2  (1)  Despite anything in this Part, the parties to a collective agreement may include in it provisions,

  (a)  for requiring, as a condition of employment, membership in the association or granting a preference of employment to members of the association, or requiring the payment of dues or contributions to the association;

  (b)  for permitting a firefighter who represents the association to attend to the business of the association during working hours without deduction of the time so occupied in the computation of the time worked for the employer and without deduction of wages in respect of the time so occupied; and

   (c)  for permitting the association the use of the employer’s premises for the purposes of the association without payment therefor. 

Where non-member firefighter cannot be required to be discharged

   (2)  No association that is a party to a collective agreement containing a provision mentioned in clause (1) (a) shall require the employer to discharge a firefighter because,

  (a)  the firefighter has been expelled or suspended from membership in the association; or

  (b)  membership in the association has been denied to or withheld from the firefighter,

for the reason that the firefighter,

   (c)  was or is a member of another association or a trade union;

  (d)  has engaged in activity against the association or on behalf of another association or a trade union;

  (e)  has engaged in reasonable dissent within the association;

   (f)  has been discriminated against by the association in the application of its membership rules; or

  (g)  has refused to pay initiation fees, dues or other assessments to the association which are unreasonable. 

Where subs. (2) does not apply

   (3)  Subsection (2) does not apply to a firefighter who has engaged in unlawful activity against the association mentioned in clause (1) (a) or an officer, official or agent thereof or whose activity against the association or on behalf of another association or trade union has been instigated or procured by the firefighter’s employer or any person acting on the employer’s behalf or whose employer or a person acting on the employer’s behalf has participated in such activity or contributed financial or other support to the firefighter in respect of the activity. 

Subs. (1) provisions continued during bargaining

   (4)  Despite anything in this Part, where the parties to a collective agreement have included in it any of the provisions permitted by subsection (1), any of such provisions may be continued in effect during the period when the parties are bargaining with a view to the renewal, with or without modifications, of the agreement or to the making of a new agreement. 

Religious objections

   52.3  (1)  Where the Board is satisfied that a firefighter because of his or her religious conviction or belief,

  (a)  objects to joining an association; or

  (b)  objects to the paying of dues or other assessments to an association,

the Board may order that the provisions of a collective agreement of the type mentioned in clause 52.2 (1) (a) do not apply to the firefighter and that the firefighter is not required to join the association, to be or continue to be a member of the association, or to pay any dues, fees or assessments to the association, provided that amounts equal to any initiation fees, dues or other assessments are paid by the firefighter to or are remitted by the employer to a charitable organization mutually agreed upon by the firefighter and the association, but if the firefighter and the association fail to so agree then to a charitable organization registered as a charitable organization in Canada under Part I of the Income Tax Act (Canada) that may be designated by the Board. 

Application of subs. (1)

   (2)  Subsection (1) applies to firefighters in the employ of an employer at the time a collective agreement containing a provision of the kind mentioned in subsection (1) is first entered into with that employer and only during the life of such collective agreement, and does not apply to firefighters whose employment commences after the entering into of the collective agreement. 

   6.  Section 53 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Enforcement power

   (10.1)  An arbitrator or the chair of an arbitration board, as the case may be, may enforce the written settlement of a grievance. 

.     .     .     .     .

Enforcement of arbitration decisions

   (13.1)  Where a party, employer, association, trade union, firefighter or other person has failed to comply with any of the terms of the decision of an arbitrator or arbitration board, any party, employer, association, trade union, firefighter or other person affected by the decision may file in the Superior Court of Justice a copy of the decision, exclusive of the reasons therefor, in the prescribed form, whereupon the decision shall be entered in the same way as a judgment or order of that court and is enforceable as such. 

   7.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Referral of grievances to a single arbitrator

   53.0.1  (1)  Despite the arbitration provision in a collective agreement or deemed to be included in a collective agreement under section 53, a party to a collective agreement may request the Minister to refer to a single arbitrator, to be appointed by the Minister, any difference between the parties to the collective agreement arising from the interpretation, application, administration or alleged violation of the agreement, including any question as to whether a matter is arbitrable. 

Request for references

   (2)  Subject to subsection (3), a request under subsection (1) may be made by a party to the collective agreement in writing after the grievance procedure under the agreement has been exhausted or after 30 days have elapsed from the time at which the grievance was first brought to the attention of the other party, whichever first occurs, but no such request shall be made beyond the time, if any, stipulated in or permitted under the agreement for referring the grievance to arbitration. 

Same

   (3)  Despite subsection (2), where a difference between the parties to a collective agreement is a difference respecting discharge from or other termination of employment, a request under subsection (1) may be made by a party to the collective agreement in writing after the grievance procedure under the agreement has been exhausted or after 14 days have elapsed from the time at which the grievance was first brought to the attention of the other party, whichever first occurs, but no such request shall be made beyond the time, if any, stipulated in or permitted under the agreement for referring the grievance to arbitration. 

Minister to appoint arbitrator

   (4)  Where a request is received under subsection (1), the Minister shall appoint a single arbitrator who shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter referred to him or her, including any question as to whether a matter is arbitrable and any question as to whether the request was timely. 

Same

   (5)  Where a request or more than one request concerns several differences arising under the collective agreement, the Minister may in his or her discretion appoint an arbitrator under subsection (4) to deal with all the differences raised in the request or requests. 

Settlement officer

   (6)  The Minister may appoint a settlement officer to confer with the parties and endeavour to effect a settlement prior to the hearing by an arbitrator appointed under subsection (4).

Powers and duties of arbitrator

   (7)  An arbitrator appointed under subsection (4) shall commence to hear the matter referred to him or her within 21 days after the receipt of the request by the Minister and the provisions of subsections 53 (5) to (15) apply with all necessary modifications to the arbitrator, the parties and the decision of the arbitrator. 

Oral decisions

   (8)  Upon the agreement of the parties, the arbitrator shall deliver an oral decision forthwith or as soon as practicable without giving his or her reasons in writing therefor. 

Payment of arbitrator

   (9)  Where the Minister has appointed an arbitrator under subsection (4), each of the parties shall pay one-half of the remuneration and expenses of the person appointed. 

   8.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Inquiry, alleged contravention

   56.1  (1)  The Board may authorize a labour relations officer to inquire into any complaint alleging a contravention of this Part. 

Duties

   (2)  The labour relations officer shall forthwith inquire into the complaint and endeavour to effect a settlement of the matter complained of. 

Report

   (3)  The labour relations officer shall report the results of his or her inquiry and endeavours to the Board. 

Remedy for discrimination

   (4)  Where a labour relations officer is unable to effect a settlement of the matter complained of or where the Board in its discretion considers it advisable to dispense with an inquiry by a labour relations officer, the Board may inquire into the complaint of a contravention of this Part and where the Board is satisfied that an employer, employers’ organization, association, person or firefighter has acted contrary to this Part it shall determine what, if anything, the employer, employers’ organization, association, person or firefighter shall do or refrain from doing with respect thereto and such determination, without limiting the generality of the foregoing may include, despite the provisions of any collective agreement, any one or more of,

  (a)  an order directing the employer, employers’ organization, association, firefighter or other person to cease doing the act or acts complained of;

  (b)  an order directing the employer, employers’ organization, association, firefighter or other person to rectify the act or acts complained of; or

   (c)  an order to reinstate in employment or hire the person or firefighter concerned, with or without compensation, or to compensate instead of hiring or reinstatement for loss of earnings or other employment benefits in an amount that may be assessed by the Board against the employer, employers’ organization, association, firefighter or other person jointly or severally. 

Burden of proof

   (5)  On an inquiry by the Board into a complaint under subsection (4) that a person has been refused employment, discharged, discriminated against, threatened, coerced, intimidated or otherwise dealt with contrary to this Part as to the person’s employment, opportunity for employment or conditions of employment, the burden of proof that any employer or employers’ organization did not act contrary to this Part lies upon the employer or employers’ organization. 

Filing in court

   (6)  An association, employer, employers’ organization, firefighter or other person affected by the determination may file the determination, excluding the reasons, in the prescribed form in the Superior Court of Justice and it shall be entered in the same way as an order of that court and is enforceable as such. 

Effect of settlement

   (7)  Where a proceeding under this Part has been settled, whether through the endeavours of the labour relations officer or otherwise, and the terms of the settlement have been put in writing and signed by the parties or their representatives, the settlement is binding upon the parties, the association, employer, employers’ organization, firefighter or other person who have agreed to the settlement and shall be complied with according to its terms, and a complaint that the association, employer, employers’ organization, firefighter or other person who agreed to the settlement has not complied with the terms of the settlement shall be deemed to be a complaint under subsection (1).

“person” defined for purposes of ss. 46.8 and 56.1

   56.2  For the purposes of section 46.8 and any complaint made under section 56.1,

“person” includes any person otherwise excluded by subsection 41 (2). 

Board power re interim orders

   56.3  (1)  On application in a pending proceeding, the Board may,

  (a)  make interim orders concerning procedural matters on such terms as it considers appropriate;

  (b)  subject to subsections (2) and (3), make interim orders requiring an employer to reinstate a firefighter in employment on such terms as it considers appropriate; and

   (c)  subject to subsections (2) and (3), make interim orders respecting the terms and conditions of employment of a firefighter whose employment has not been terminated but whose terms and conditions of employment have been altered or who has been subject to reprisal, penalty or discipline by the employer.

Same

   (2)  The Board may exercise its power under clause (1) (b) or (c) only if the board determines that all of the following conditions are met:

    1.  The circumstances giving rise to the pending proceeding occurred at a time when a campaign to establish bargaining rights was underway.

    2.  There is a serious issue to be decided in the pending proceeding.

    3.  The interim relief is necessary to prevent irreparable harm or is necessary to achieve other significant labour relations objectives.

    4.  The balance of harm favours the granting of the interim relief pending a decision on the merits in the pending proceeding.

Same

   (3)  The Board shall not exercise its powers under clause (1) (b) or (c) if it appears to the Board that the alteration of terms and conditions, dismissal, reprisal, penalty or discipline by the employer was unrelated to the exercise of rights under this Part by a firefighter. 

Same

   (4)  Despite subsection 56.1 (5), in an application under this section, the burden of proof lies on the applicant.

Same

   (5)  With respect to the Board, the power to make interim orders under this section applies instead of the power under subsection 16.1 (1) of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.

Transition rules

   56.4  If, on the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 received First Reading, a matter was before the Board or an arbitrator and the Board or arbitrator had not given a decision on the matter, the Board or arbitrator shall decide the matter in accordance with this Act as amended by the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015, regardless of when the matter in dispute occurred.

   9.  Clause 57 (c) of the Act is amended by striking out “subsections 46.2 (6) and 46.4 (8)” and substituting “subsections 53 (13.1) and 56.1 (6)”. 

Commencement

   10.  This Schedule comes into force on the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent.

schedule 2
Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997

   1.  (1)  Subsection 23 (11) of the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997 is amended by striking out “Subject to subsection (12)” at the beginning.

   (2)  Section 23 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Same, prescribed percentage represented by bargaining agent

   (11.1)  No vote is required with respect to a bargaining unit if at least a prescribed percentage of the employees in that unit were represented immediately before the changeover date by a single bargaining agent.  In that case, the order under this section must appoint that bargaining agent as the bargaining agent for all of the employees in the unit.

Same, minimum percentage

   (11.2)  For the purposes of subsection (11.1), the prescribed percentage shall be more than 60 per cent.

Same, determination of dispute

   (11.3)  If a dispute arises about the application of subsection (11) or (11.1), the Board shall determine the matter.

Commencement

   2.  This Schedule comes into force six months after the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent.

schedule 3
workplace safety and insurance Act, 1997

   1.  The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 is amended by adding the following section:

Prohibition, claim suppression

   22.1  (1)  No employer shall take any action, including but not limited to the prohibited actions set out in subsection (2), in respect of a worker with the intent of,

  (a)  discouraging or preventing the worker from filing a claim for benefits under section 22; or

  (b)  influencing or inducing the worker to withdraw or abandon a claim for benefits made under section 22. 

Same

   (2)  For the purposes of subsection (1), the following actions are prohibited:

    1.  Dismissing or threatening to dismiss a worker.

    2.  Disciplining or suspending, or threatening to discipline or suspend a worker. 

    3.  Imposing a penalty upon a worker. 

    4.  Directly or indirectly intimidating or coercing a worker with threats, promises, persuasion or other means. 

Administrative penalty

   (3)  An employer who contravenes subsection (1) shall pay the prescribed amount to the Board.  This payment is in addition to any penalty imposed by a court for an offence under section 155.1. 

   2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Average earnings — death benefits

Application

   48.1  (1)  This section applies to payments payable under section 48 as a result of a worker’s injury that occurred on or after January 1, 1998. 

Determination of average earnings

   (2)  Despite section 53 and the minimum amounts set out in subsections 48 (3), (14) and (15), for the purpose of determining amounts payable under section 48, the Board may, in such circumstances as it considers appropriate, determine the amount of a deceased worker’s average earnings taking into account the average earnings at the time of the worker’s injury of a person engaged in the same trade, occupation, profession or calling as the worker was engaged in and out of which the worker’s injury arose. 

Reconsideration of Board decision

   (3)  Despite section 121, if, before the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent, a worker or his or her survivor filed a claim in respect of an injury that resulted in the worker’s death and the Board made a decision that involved the determination of average earnings for the purposes of section 48, and if the survivor requests that the Board reconsider its decision, the Board shall do so in accordance with subsection (2). 

Refiled claims

   (4)  If, before the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent, a worker or his or her survivor filed a claim in respect of an injury that resulted in the worker’s death and the Appeals Tribunal made a decision that involved a determination by the Board of average earnings for the purposes of section 48, the survivor may refile the claim with the Board, and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with subsection (2). 

Time limits

   (5)  The time limits in subsections 22 (1) and (2) do not apply in respect of a claim that is refiled under subsection (4). 

Pending appeal

   (6)  If, on the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent, a claim for payments payable under section 48 is pending before the Appeals Tribunal, the Appeals Tribunal shall refer the claim back to the Board, and the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with subsection (2). 

Pending claim

   (7)  If, on the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent, a claim for payments payable under section 48 is pending before the Board, the Board shall decide the claim in accordance with subsection (2). 

   3.  (1)  Subsection 135 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

    4.  To ascertain whether an employer has contravened section 22.1. 

   (2)  Subsection 135 (2) of the Act is amended by adding the following paragraph:

    5.  To ascertain whether an employer has contravened section 22.1. 

   4.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Offence, claim suppression

   155.1  An employer who contravenes section 22.1 is guilty of an offence.

   5.  Paragraph 2 of subsection 158 (1) of the Act is amended by striking out “$100,000” and substituting “$500,000” at the end. 

   6.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Fair Practices Commissioner

Appointment of Fair Practices Commissioner

   176.1  (1)  The board of directors shall appoint a Fair Practices Commissioner as an ombudsman of the Board. 

Functions

   (2)  The board of directors shall specify the functions of the Fair Practices Commissioner, which shall include investigating complaints and making recommendations. 

Annual report

   (3)  Every year, the Fair Practices Commissioner shall,

  (a)  prepare a report on his or her activities during the previous year; and

  (b)  provide a copy of the report to the board of directors and make the report available to the public. 

Commencement

   7.  This Schedule comes into force on the day the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 receives Royal Assent.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 109 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 109 has been enacted as Chapter 34 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2015.

 

Schedule 1
fire protection and prevention act, 1997

The Schedule amends Part IX of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, which governs employment and labour relations for firefighters.  Here are some highlights:

Amendments to section 46.1 and new sections 46.2 to 46.9 add new unfair labour practices provisions.

New sections 52.1 and 52.2 provide for the deduction and remission of association dues and for the inclusion of certain provisions in collective agreements. 

New section 52.3 allows the Board to exempt a firefighter from joining an association or paying association dues for religious reasons.

Amendments to section 53 and new sections 56.1, 56.2 and 56.3 establish new rules respecting enforcement. 

New section 53.0.1 provides for expedited arbitration in certain circumstances. 

schedule 2
Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997

The Schedule amends section 23 of the Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997.  Currently under section 23 of the Act, the Board shall determine by way of a vote which bargaining agent, if any, represents the employees in each bargaining unit whose description is changed by agreement or order. There are currently two exceptions to the requirement to hold a vote. The Schedule adds a third exception.

Under the new subsection 23 (11.1), no vote is required with respect to a bargaining unit if at least a prescribed percentage of the employees in the unit were represented before the relevant date by a single bargaining agent. In that case, the Board must appoint that bargaining agent as the bargaining agent for all of the employees in the unit.

Under the new subsection 23 (11.2), the prescribed percentage shall be more than 60 per cent.

Finally, under the new subsection 23 (11.3), the Board shall determine any dispute about the application of the new subsection 23 (11.1) or the existing subsection 23 (11).

schedule 3
workplace safety and insurance Act, 1997

The Schedule amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.

Section 22.1 is added to the Act and prohibits the taking of any actions against a worker with the intent of discouraging the worker from filing a claim for benefits under section 22 or influencing the worker to withdraw or abandon a claim for benefits under section 22. The Board’s powers of examination and inspection under section 135 are amended to include inspecting for contraventions of section 22.1. Under the new section 155.1, a contravention of section 22.1 is an offence.

Section 48.1 is added to the Act and provides for the determination of a deceased worker’s average earnings for the purpose of determining death benefits payable under section 48 as a result of a worker’s injury that occurred on or after January 1, 1998. The section provides that for the purpose of determining amounts payable, the Board may, in such circumstances as it considers appropriate, take into account the average earnings at the time of the worker’s injury of a person engaged in the same trade, occupation, profession or calling as the worker was engaged in and out of which the worker’s injury arose.

Section 158 of the Act is amended to increase the maximum penalty payable by a person who is not an individual and is convicted of an offence under the Act to $500,000.

Section 176.1 is added to the Act and requires the board of directors to appoint a Fair Practices Commissioner to act as an ombudsman of the Board.

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