defines both actions and applications as civil proceedings. Notably
it does not mention arbitrations. The definitions of actions and
applications in the Rules of Civil Procedure, R.R.O. 1990, Reg.
194 take the same approach.
 Further, there is nothing in the ESA that suggests that
there was any intention to include arbitrations within the usual
meaning of the term “civil proceeding”. Indeed, certain provisions
suggest a contrary conclusion. One is s. 8(2) that requires an
employee who commences a civil proceeding to give notice of that
fact to the director of employment standards. It would seem odd
that notice of an arbitration (which is normally private) would
have to be given to the director but that would be the result if
arbitrations are included in civil proceedings. In fact, s. 8(2),
which requires that notice be given to the director “before the
date the civil proceeding is set down for trial”, also seemingly
equates civil proceedings with actions. Another is s. 101(1), which
refers specifically to “a proceeding before an arbitrator” and thus
appears to draw a distinction between that form of proceeding
and what the ESA otherwise refers to as a “civil proceeding”. In
any event, what is clear is that the restriction in s. 98 does not
apply to the circumstances of this case.
 If an employee makes a s. 96 complaint, then an employment standards officer (“ESO”) must investigate the complaint.
The ESO has certain rights and authorities when doing so. By
way of example, under s. 102(1) of the ESA, the ESO may require
the employee and the employer to attend a meeting with the
ESO. The ESO may also require persons to produce documents
under s. 102(4). And, in the end result, the ESO may, pursuant to
s. 103, issue an order to pay wages against the employer if a contravention of the ESA has occurred.
 In my view, this investigative process constitutes an
employment standard as that term is defined in the ESA. The investigative process, once triggered, is mandated by the ESA and
both the employee and, more importantly the employer, are
required to participate in that process. The process is thus
a “requirement” that “applies to an employer for the benefit of an
employee” and, accordingly, meets the definition of an employment
standard. In reaching this conclusion, I read the words, used in the
definition of employment standard, in their grammatical and ordinary sense: Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Re) (1998), 36 O.R. (3d)
418,  1 S.C.R. 27,  S.C.J. No. 2, at para. 21.
 Uber argued, at the hearing, that s. 96 is not an “
employment standard” because, in allowing employees to make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour, it does not establish
a “requirement or prohibition . . . that applies to an employer”.