Unionized employees are represented by a trade union and are generally unable to sue their employers in court. Instead, unionized employees must follow the guidelines set out in the collective agreement, which is a written agreement addressing the employment relationship between the employer, union, and employees.
According to the Ontario Labour Relations Act, unions have a legal duty to fairly represent their employees. Unions must ensure that the interests of all employees are served in a manner that is not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. If the union has failed to properly investigate, process, or arbitrate a grievance, an employee may file a duty of fair representation complaint with the Labour Relations Board, where a Board Tribunal has the authority to order a number of remedies.
If you are a unionized employee and believe that your right to fair representation has been violated, you should meet with an employment lawyer who can review your case against the union and assist you in the preparation and filing of your complaint.
Read our employment law articles about Unionized Employees and Duty of Fair Representation Complaints for more information.