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Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic
Office of the Worker Advisor
Ministry of Labour
Can I be punished for complaining about safety issues at work?
If you think your employer is punishing you for making a safety complaint, the first thing to do is ask your employer for more information. You may want to get legal advice before you talk to them. See the Next Step called Get legal help.
You may find out that there's a different reason why your employer has changed your working conditions.
You may also get information that will help you if you make an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).
Keep track of any documents you have that could help you prove that your employer is punishing you. Keep them in a safe place because you may need them if you apply to the OLRB.
Here are some of the documents you might need:
- pay stubs
- letters from your employer
- disciplinary letters
- your employment contract and/or offer letter
- notes from meetings
- notes from talking to other workers
- written instructions you were given
- safety materials you were given which are relevant to your issue
Make notes about conversations you've had. Keep track of dates when things happen.
You could also ask your Health and Safety Representative or Joint Health and Safety Committee for information about your problem. They have to keep records about safety tests, accidents, and Ministry of Labour orders in your workplace. They also have to keep notes about what they talk about in meetings. If they talked about your problem, they have to share those notes with a Ministry of Labour inspector.
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Reviewed: March 31, 2018