Toronto Labour Lawyers Advising Employers on Union Certification

Once in motion, the union certification process can happen very quickly and can have a huge impact on a workplace. Employers must rapidly comply with a number of obligations, or they will face significant legal and financial liability. As an organization facing unionization, it is important to consult with a trusted and knowledgeable labour lawyer who has experience guiding employers through the certification process to ensure you respond within appropriate deadlines, understand your obligations, minimize your risk, and ensure your business continues to function effectively.

Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP is one of Canada’s leading labour and employment firms. Our lawyers are widely recognized by their peers as being at the top of their field. We have been helping employers navigate the world of labour relations for more than 30 years.

The Certification Process

A union can file an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) requesting to be certified to represent a specific group of employees in a workplace (a proposed bargaining unit). If the union can show they have the support of at least 40% of that group of employees, it can ask the OLRB to conduct an official vote.

Once the union files their application and serves it on the employer, the employer has two business days to file its response with the OLRB.  The application can be served by fax, courier, or by physically dropping it off at an employer’s workplace. Service will be considered effectual even if the owner or supervisor is not present when the documents are served.

Five days after the union’s application is filed, the OLRB conducts an official vote of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit. The ultimate outcome is determined by 50% + 1 of the employees who vote.

Managing the Workplace During Certification

In addition to responding to an application within the tight deadlines prescribed by the OLRB, employers must tread carefully and understand the restrictions placed on them by the Ontario Labour Relations Act.

Employers cannot attempt to obstruct the union’s certification attempts or the union’s communications with employees. Employers should exercise caution when themselves communicating with workers during a certification drive. Any subject that might relate to conditions of employment must be treated carefully or the employer may veer into dangerous territory that may result in an unfair labour practice finding.

At Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP we help our clients navigate the legislative framework governing labour relations in the province and ensure that they are in compliance.

The Labour Lawyers at Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP Advise Employers on Union Certification

If you are an employer going through the union certification process, contact one of the experienced labour lawyers at Grosman Gale Fletcher Hopkins LLP right away. We can guide you through the process, manage your risk, and ensure you do not suffer loss of productivity during the process. We have been advising employers for more than 30 years. Contact us at 416-364-9599 or online to schedule a consultation.

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