After the Labour Relations Board (the Board) receives an application, it will assess whether it is complete and meets the Board’s filing requirements. Once accepted, the Board generally sends a letter to the parties that acknowledges receipt of the application, identifies the case number assigned to it, and the status of the application (such as whether submissions are being requested or not, it is being assigned to panel, or some other process).
The Labour Relations Code requires that certain types of decisions be issued within a specific period of time, such as certain types of unfair labour practices. In addition, applications that involve urgent matters are dealt with on a priority (expedited) basis such as certifications, decertifications, or strikes, lockouts, picketing, or replacement workers. These types of applications are dealt with in priority over other applications which, while important to the parties, do not have statutorily mandated deadlines for a decision or which do not, in the Board’s assessment, require an expedited process.
The time it takes for a decision to be issued in response to an application varies depending on a number of factors, including:
- the complexity of the issues raised
- the type of application (expedited vs. non-expedited)
- whether submissions have been requested
- whether an oral hearing has taken place and if so, the number of witnesses involved and the number of documents tendered in evidence
- whether the matter was paused pending settlement discussions
- the workload of the panel assigned to decide the application
Where the Code does not specify the period of time in which a decision must be issued, the Board must render a decision 180 days from the date of the application. However, the Chair has the discretion to extend that time and, where an extension is granted, the Board will notify the parties in writing.