Arbitrator upholds employer’s dismissal of grievor who exaggerated her medical symptoms

December 21, 2014 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

Exaggerating one’s medical symptoms in order to avoid a return to work can be cause for dismissal. This is a lesson that a grievor learned the hard way following the finding of a Quebec arbitrator in Fédération des paramédics et des employées et employés des services préhospitaliers du Québec (FPESPQ) and Services préhospitaliers Laurentides-Lanaudière ltée. read more…

Compliance framework is proposed for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program

December 14, 2014 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

by Thora Sigurdson

In June 2014, the Canadian government introduced changes to the country’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). These changes were intended to make it more difficult and expensive for Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs), thereby encouraging employers to search within Canadian borders to staff their workforce. While the changes to the TFWP have largely been deemed to be “successful,” the new proposed compliance framework is raising some concerns. read more…

A face for radio? Employment law lessons from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal

December 07, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

Over the last month, the Canadian news media has devoted significant time to covering the Jian Ghomeshi scandal. Aside from the celebrity gossip factor, the story has had such staying power because it touches on so many controversial issues—BDSM (Bondage & Discipline / Domination & Submission / Sadism & Masochism), sexual consent, victim credibility, privacy concerns, power politics, criminal charges—the list is long. In addition (and more importantly for employers) the Ghomeshi story began as a story about the end of an employee’s employment. read more…

Purchaser of bankrupt Quebec business found liable to executive it didn’t hire

November 30, 2014 - by: Marie-Gabrielle Belanger 0 COMMENTS

By Marie-Gabrielle Bélanger

The purchaser of all the assets of a bankrupt business will be bound by the employment contracts of the bankrupt company and must therefore honor these contracts. So ruled the Court of Appeal of Quebec in a recent decision, Aéro-Photo (1961) Inc. c. Raymond (available in French only). read more…

Retaliation against unreasonable discrimination complaint can cost you

November 23, 2014 - by: Kevin O'Neill 0 COMMENTS

By Kevin O’Neill, Q.C.

How the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently handled a retaliation complaint—where the employee was found to be not credible and unreasonable—should give employers pause. read more…

Termination clause as a ticking time bomb: Are courts in Ontario changing approach?

November 16, 2014 - by: Marc Rodrigue 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Rodrigue

To the chagrin of many employers in Canada, the courts have made the drafting and enforcement of termination provisions in an employment contract challenging. In recent years, case law in Ontario has been particularly harsh in striking down termination provisions that may be contrary to the statutory provisions of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in some circumstances but not others (e.g., entitlements meet the requirements for the first five years of employment but not thereafter).

A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ford v. Keegan, 2014 ONSC 4989, provides some indication that the court in Ontario has not fully settled on when striking a termination clause is appropriate. As opposed to the treatment of termination clauses in other cases, the court in this case indicated that a termination clause, so long as it meets the ESA minimums at the time an employee is dismissed, should be enforced. read more…

Ontario releases new workers’ compensation policy to aid in claims involving pre-existing conditions

November 09, 2014 - by: Cathy Chandler 0 COMMENTS

by Cathy Chandler

Until recently, Ontario was the only jurisdiction in Canada without a specific policy dealing with the effect of pre-existing conditions on claims for workers’ compensation. That has now changed. On November 1, 2014, a new policy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Pre-Existing Conditions, came into force. The goal of the policy is to provide decision makers with guidance on how to draw the work-related/non-work-related line when it comes to adjudicating compensation claims involving pre-existing conditions. read more…

Rare costs award granted in human rights complaint

November 02, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

Although courts routinely order one party to pay the other party a portion of its legal fees, administrative tribunals in Canada very rarely have the power or inclination to do so. That includes human rights tribunals across the country, which very rarely order one party to pay the other’s legal costs even where they have the power to do so.

In Kim Ma v. Dr. Iain G. M. Cleator, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal took the highly unusual step of ordering the complainant to pay a portion of the respondent employer’s legal fees. Why? In this case, the tribunal found the complainant’s conduct to be so egregious that it was the exception to the rule. read more…

Insuring long-term disability insurance

October 26, 2014 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

by Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, benefit plans are subject to legislation related to income tax, human rights, and employment standards. However, there is little specific regulation of benefit plans other than pension plans. A key exception is the provision of long-term disability benefits that are not funded under an insurance contract—at least for federally regulated employers such as the banks, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, and employers in Ontario. read more…

Quebec employers can’t waive notice period provided by resigning employee without providing notice

October 19, 2014 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

Most employers in Quebec know that under Quebec’s Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) and the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ), an employer who wishes to terminate an indefinite contract of employment without serious reason must provide notice or pay in lieu of notice. Employees who wish to resign must also give their employer notice of resignation.

In Commission des normes du travail v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., the Supreme Court of Canada held that when an employee gives notice of resignation, the employer cannot waive the notice period and terminate the contract of employment without providing notice or pay in lieu of notice. read more…

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