The Labour Relations Board may not proceed with an application if it doesn’t meet certain requirements. The Labour Relations Code, Labour Relations Regulations, the Labour Relations Board Rules, and other information on this website should be reviewed before filing an application. At a minimum, an application must:
- say what section(s) of the Code you are relying on
- outline the facts and circumstances you are relying on, including when and where events happened, what was said, and who said them
- say what remedy you want the Board to order and why you want it, if you are successful
There may be other minimum requirements in the Code, Regulations, or Rules depending on which section of the Code you are applying under.
If the Board decides your application is incomplete, someone will contact you and tell you why.
These minimum requirements are important because once the Board accepts the application, it can make a decision based only on the information you have provided.
It is important to know that just because the Board accepts your application as complete does not mean the Board has looked at the information and decided that you have made your case. It is your responsibility to identify the facts and circumstances you want the Board to consider.
After accepting an application, the Board is not required to:
- investigate the application or come back to you to ask for more information,
- ask for submissions from the employer, union, or individual against whom the application was filed, or
- hold an oral hearing.
Applications filed too soon
The Board may not accept an application for filing if it is filed too soon. For example, if you are filing an application but there are still other steps, such as the grievance process or an internal appeal, or an arbitration process is still ongoing, the Board may decide that you have to wait until the process is complete.
Deferring an application to another process
The Board may decide that the issue raised in an application should be heard by another decision-maker.
For example, the Board may decide that an arbitrator appointed under a collective agreement can deal with the issue. The Board will assess whether:
- the grievance arbitration process can give the parties an adequate remedy
- the issue is normally the type of dispute dealt with at arbitration
- the issue involves the law and policy of Code
- the issue needs to be decided as part of another application at the Board that is not before an arbitrator.
If some, or all, of the issues in an application are also being dealt with by another tribunal, the Board may either decide not to process the application at that time or may put it on hold. This might happen, for example, where a person has also filed a complaint under the BC Human Rights Code.
The application is moot
Generally, the Board won’t deal with an application if the underlying issue is academic or moot. An issue is moot where there is no current live dispute between the parties for the Board to resolve. For example:
- The application raises a hypothetical issue that has not happened
- The parties to the application have resolved the issues the Board was asked to decide
- An event has occurred such that a decision or remedy would no longer serve a useful purpose
However, the Board may decide the issue even if it is academic or moot, such as when:
- the issue keeps coming up but doesn’t last a long time so there may not be a better opportunity for the Board to deal with it
- the issue is important for labour relations
Leading decisions provide useful information on how the Labour Relations Board applies the Labour Relations Code (the Code) and information on what is or is not covered by the Code.