Environmental Bill of Rights


The Environmental Bill of Rights (SO 1993, c. 28) prohibits reprisals against employees who apply for an investigation made in good faith.

What kind of disclosure is protected?

Employers cannot take reprisals against  employees who exercise various rights under the Bill, including giving information to the appropriate authority. Information given for the purposes of an investigation, review, or hearing related to a relevant policy or act is protected. Reprisals are also prohibited against employees who give evidence in a proceeding under the Bill or a prescribed act s. 74 s. 105(3).

In the event that the minister does not decide to proceed with a whistleblower’s application for investigation, the whistleblower's name, address or other personal information cannot be disclosed s.81. However, the Act does not protect the anonymity of the whistleblower.

Who is eligible for protection?

In order to be protected under the Bill, employees must act in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief when disclosing information regarding a wrongdoing s. 105(3).

How are whistleblowers protected?

The Bill allows employees to file a written complaint claiming an employer has taken reprisals against an employee (for example, dismissing, penalizing or harassing an employee) on a prohibited ground s.105.

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

Written complaints can be sent to the Ontario Labour Relations Board using an online Unlawful Reprisal Form. Electronic forms can be printed and filed with the Board, along with any relevant attachments.

For more information about whistleblower protections under the Bill, contact the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

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