You don't need to hire a lawyer to make an application to the Labour Relations Board or to respond to an application in which you are named. However, the Board can't help you prepare your application. As well the Board can't provide legal or other advice.
If you decide to represent yourself, you should research and understand the relevant sections of:
- the Labour Relations Code (the Code)
- the Labour Regulations
- the Labour Relations Board Rules
- the information on this website
It's important to know that the law and policy of the Code is most often set out or explained in the Board's leading decisions.
Although the Board tries to explain its processes, you're involved in a legal proceeding when you file an application. You're required to know the legal case that you have to make and provide the facts and arguments that support it.
I want to make an application to the Board
First, you need to figure out if there are any time limits that apply to the type of application you want to file. If there are, you need to file your application within those time limits.
Second, before you file your application, you need to figure out what information the Board will need to have in front of it to decide your application. You must include that information with your application.
Third, in your application, you need to explain as clearly as you can why you think the Board should decide in your favour. The Board will generally not accept evidence or arguments submitted after your application is filed.
Finally, make sure you check the instructions on the application form to see whether you need to give a copy of your application to the other parties named in it. Information on how to do this can be found in the Rules.
If you are including details about highly sensitive personal or medical information, you should think about how, if at all, those details will help to prove your case. If they don't, you should not include them if you don't want the other parties to see it.
What should my application include?
The Board doesn't investigate applications. It may decide if you have established a violation of the Code based only on the information and documents you include in your application. Therefore, it is very important that you include in your application:
- all of the information required by the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Board Rules, and the Regulations, and
- everything you want the Board to consider in making a decision on your case:
- include all the information and arguments you would like the Board to consider
- attach all the documents you would like the Board to consider and
- explain how any documents you have attached support your case.
- Try to explain what happened in a chronological order, as that is usually the easiest way for the Board to understand your case. Explain your case in as clear and simple language as possible. Avoid run-on sentences and stream of conscience writing. Try to organize your application with helpful headings.
- Number each of the pages in your application and each of the pages of the documents attached to your application.
- Make sure that your documents and your application are legible.
How do I file my application with the Board?
The Board has created forms for some types of applications, which you can fill out. The form will help you understand what information you need to provide for your application to be complete; so, make sure you fill it out completely.
If there isn't a form for the application you are making, then you need to file the application in writing (i.e. by letter). Make sure your contact information is accurate and legible.
I need help! Where can I find more information?
The Board's Information Officer can only give general information about the Board and its processes. They can't give advice on the merits of your case or help you fill out your application.
If you want more information before filing an application to the Board, see the following:
- the Labour Relations Code, the Labour Relations Board Rules, and previous Board decisions
- information on the Board's website
- Canlii.org - a free database of cases, legislation, and legal commentary
- The Courthouse Libraries of BC
- Amici Curiae (AC) Friends of Court
Where can I find a lawyer or get free or low-cost legal advice?