What happens if an employee files a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch?

BC Employment Standards encourages employers and employees to resolve disputes themselves. However, if the issue remains unresolved there is a specific process in which the Employment Standards Branch handles a complaint filed by an employee. 

Before a complaint is accepted by BC Employment Standards, the employee must first file a complete the Self-Help Kit. The Self-Help Kit is designed by the Employment Standards Branch to help employees and employers solve workplace disputes quickly and fairly. The Director of Employment Standards can refuse to investigate a complaint if an employee has not taken the necessary steps to resolve the problem with the employer. 

Once as complaint is filed, the Branch will inform the employer and advise them on what information to provide in order to dispute the complaint. If the employer resolves the complaint at this point, no further action will be taken.

If the issue is still not resolved, the Employment Standards Branch staff will review the complaint and the evidence that has been provided. If it appears the dispute can be resolved through mediation, a mediation session will be arranged, to be held in person or by teleconference.

If the complaint is not resolved through mediation, the Branch will either investigate further or schedule an adjudication hearing. If a hearing is scheduled, both parties will be required to attend along with any necessary witnesses. After the hearing, the Branch will issue a final decision known as a determination.

To learn more about the process that the Employment Standards Branch follows in dealing with employee complaints, please contact your CFIB Business Counsellor at 1-866-684-5325 or msbc@cfib.ca.