Single mom wins rotating shift job—then wants days only—and court agrees

July 26, 2015 - by: Christian Paquette 0 COMMENTS

by Christian Paquette

Did an employer discriminate against a single mother when it required her to work the regular shift rotation job she’d applied for? An Alberta court was recently asked to rule whether an arbitrator was right in deciding against the employer. The court in SMS Equipment Inc. v. CEP, Local 707 agreed that the employer’s decision was discriminatory. The employee was entitled to work straight day shifts to accommodate her family situation. read more…

Do you suspect your employees are sleeping at work? Quebec arbitrator holds you have the right to film them

July 19, 2015 - by: Karine Fournier 0 COMMENTS

by Karine Fournier

In Quebec, in Unifor Québec et Moulage sous pression AMT inc., a grievance arbitrator confirmed that the employer had the right to temporarily film certain areas of the workplace when there had been several reports that employees were sleeping during the night shift. read more…

Not all relapses are created equal

July 12, 2015 - by: Stephanie Gutierrez 0 COMMENTS

by Stephanie Gutierrez

An addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is considered a disability in Canada. As such, employers in Canada often enter into last chance agreements with employees suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. But does a last chance agreement always mean it’s the employee’s “last chance”? Not necessarily. read more…

Not all changes equal constructive dismissal

July 05, 2015 - by: Mathias Link 0 COMMENTS

by Mathias Link

Employers throughout Canada find it challenging to anticipate exactly when a particular unilateral change to the terms and conditions of employment will be a breach of the employment contract, and thus a constructive dismissal, or whether the change will be reasonable such that an employee is obligated to accept the change or changes. read more…

Employment contracts, termination clauses, and itchy trigger fingers

June 28, 2015 - by: Bruce Grist 0 COMMENTS

by Bruce R. Grist

As there is no employment at will in Canada, most employment lawyers in Canada who act for employers recommend that employers use employment contracts to govern the employee’s relationship with the employer. If there is an employment contract and the employer wishes to terminate the employee’s employment or the employee wishes to resign, the parties’ obligations are clearly set out in the contract.

Properly drafted employment contracts prevent the uncertainty that arises with respect to termination of employment and “reasonable notice.” read more…

Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

Unfixing a fixed-term contract

June 14, 2015 - by: Eowynne Noble 0 COMMENTS

by Eowynne Noble

In a recent good-news decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice shed new light on how damages should be awarded if a fixed-term contract is terminated early and the termination provision is unenforceable. read more…

Settling up: the need for specificity in employee releases

June 07, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess and Kyle Cadieux

An employer in Canada would be forgiven for thinking that a release of liability related to employment would protect it from all future claims by that employee. However, a recent Alberta Human Rights Tribunal decision, Hutton v. ARC Business Solutions Inc., 2015 AHRC 7, suggests that the matter is not that simple. read more…

Case signals lower threshold for mental distress when cause allegation fails

May 31, 2015 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

By Thora Sigurdson

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently awarded damages for mental distress in the context of a termination for cause. The decision in George v. Cowichan Tribes signals that it may be easier to establish such a claim when there is a just cause allegation that fails, compared with terminations without cause. It confirms that employers in Canada need to be very careful when alleging cause. read more…

Changes coming to union certification process for federally regulated employers

May 17, 2015 - by: Daniel Mayer 0 COMMENTS

by Daniel Mayer

On June 16, important changes regarding union certification and decertification for federally regulated employers in Canada will come into effect. The federally regulated sector includes interprovincial and international transportation companies, airlines, railways, banks, and employees who work for the federal government. read more…

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