Post-accident compliance with safety orders doesn’t reduce employer’s fines

August 24, 2014 - by: Norm Keith 0 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith

Two critical questions related to prosecutions under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) were addressed in a recent decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario:

  1. In sentencing an employer for the OHSA breach, should the trial court treat the employer’s post-accident compliance with Ministry of Labour Orders as a mitigating factor?
  2. If the employer is convicted of more than one offense resulting from one incident, must the trial court impose fines cumulatively? Or can they be “concurrent”?

Ontario’s top court’s answers may have implications for prosecutions under similar legislation in several provinces. read more…

Employers must have a reasonable basis for engaging in employee surveillance

August 17, 2014 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

By Clayton Jones

When confronted with information that an employee may be abusing paid sick leave, it is only natural for an employer to want to investigate further. One way in which employers may do this is through the surreptitious surveillance of the employee. However, such surveillance is of limited value unless the employer will be able to rely on the surveillance in a subsequent legal proceeding. read more…

May the enforceability of your release be with you

August 10, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

We have all been faced with employees’ buyer’s remorse. They accept a severance package, sign a release, cash the severance check, and then claim that the release is unenforceable. Recently the Alberta Human Rights Commission considered this very issue in Marquardt v. Strathcona County. read more…

Duties more important than titles when determining eligibility for overtime

August 03, 2014 - by: Marc Ouellet 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Ouellet

The issue of overtime has become a major concern for employers in the wake of class actions on the subject in Canada. The Québec Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) provides exemptions from the right to overtime including for employees in managerial positions. In Skiba v. Playground, L.P., the Court of Appeal of Québec recently clarified which employees may be exempt as “managers” in Quebec. While the applicable statutes vary across Canada, the fundamental principles applied are similar. Thus this decision may have persuasive value outside of Quebec. read more…

Court upholds just-cause termination based on misconduct discovered post-termination

July 27, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

In a recent decision, a Canadian appellate-level court confirmed that employee misconduct discovered after a without-cause termination may be relied upon by an employer in support of a later argument of just cause for termination. read more…

Putting Canadians first: overhaul of the temporary foreign worker program

July 20, 2014 - by: Isabelle Dongier 0 COMMENTS

By Isabelle Dongier

As we have repeatedly reported, there have been many changes to Canada’s immigration program in the past 18 months. Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations were introduced in December 2013 to make it tougher and more costly for Canadian employers to hire foreign workers. read more…

BC addresses whether privacy rights include right to remain anonymous

July 13, 2014 - by: Chuck Harrison 0 COMMENTS

By Chuck Harrison

In a recent Canadian case, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board addressed whether privacy rights entitle an employee disciplined for serious misconduct to remain anonymous in an arbitration award. read more…

A not-so-constructive constructive dismissal decision

July 06, 2014 - by: Frederic Parisien 0 COMMENTS

By Fréderic Parisien

A Canadian employee may claim that his or her employment is constructively dismissed when his or her employer makes a unilateral change to a fundamental term or condition of employment without appropriate notice. What about a change in the employer with no other change? Surely that can’t be a constructive dismissal. Apparently so, at least in Quebec. read more…

Canadian court affirms duty to accommodate employees’ family obligations but not personal choices

June 29, 2014 - by: Stephanie Gutierrez 0 COMMENTS

By Stephanie Gutierrez

In a recent decision on family-status discrimination, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed that employers in Canada are required to accommodate employees’ childcare obligations but not their voluntary parental choices, such as extracurricular or recreational activities. read more…

Toronto employer liable because of inadequate investigation of human rights complaint

June 22, 2014 - by: Alix Herber 0 COMMENTS

By Alix Herber

Inadequate investigation of employees’ discrimination complaints can expose employers to human rights damages. This is so even when employers do most things right. read more…

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