Project manager convicted of criminal negligence

October 04, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith and Shane D. Todd

As another reminder of the importance of health and safety in all workplaces all across Canada, we report on the continuing legal saga involving the December 2009 fatalities at Metron Construction.

On June 26, 2015, Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager overseeing a construction project for Metron, was found guilty of five counts of criminal negligence in relation to a quadruple fatality on the project. As we approach the end of the Metron saga, we look back on the accident, the charges that flowed from it, and the impact on health and safety advice for employers. read more…

Employers required to give employees time off to vote

September 27, 2015 - by: Stefan Kimpton 0 COMMENTS

By Stefan Kimpton

It’s almost election day in Canada. On October 19, Canadians will head to the polls to elect the new federal government. Employers with employees in Canada should be aware of their obligations on election day. read more…

Sharing the pain: Do economic conditions count?

September 20, 2015 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

by Clayton Jones

Does a poor economy mean a shorter reasonable notice period? Canadian employers often ask this question—particularly in cyclical industries.

When assessing reasonable notice, courts will consider the employee’s position and responsibilities, length of service, age, and the availability of similar employment. Not only has it been unusual for courts to consider negative economic conditions as a factor justifying a reduced notice period, this has typically been used to lengthen the notice period in favor of the employee.

However, there are two cases from the past year—one from Ontario and one from Alberta—where the court was prepared to give the employer some credit for the economic situation it found itself in. read more…

Quebec arbitrator reverses termination of probationary employee—not sufficiently unsatisfactory!

September 13, 2015 - by: Marc Ouellet 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Ouellet

Do employers in Canada have absolute discretion when it comes to probationary employees’ performance evaluations and whether or not to maintain employment after the probationary period? In Union des employées et employées de service, section locale 800 v. Limocar Estrie Inc. (available only in French), where the business in question was unionized, one Quebec arbitrator says they do not. read more…

Ontario government proceeding with review of its labor and employment laws

September 06, 2015 - by: Marc Rodrigue 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Rodrigue

In February, the province of Ontario appointed the Honorable John C. Murray, a former judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and management-side labor lawyer, and C. Michael Mitchell, a former union-side labor lawyer, as special advisers tasked with reviewing both the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA).

Concerned about the changing nature of employment in Ontario and about the province’s ability to attract and retain business, the Ontario government has given the special advisers a mandate to consult broadly with the public and various interest groups regarding Ontario’s labor and employment law regimes. Following the consultations, the special advisers will provide the Ontario government with specific recommendations for legislative change. read more…

Zero tolerance for stalking on company time

August 30, 2015 - by: Chuck Harrison 0 COMMENTS

by Chuck Harrison

A single incident of misconduct can still justify the termination of a unionized employee’s employment. So ruled a labor arbitrator in British Columbia recently. In Fortis Energy Inc., (February 16, 2015) the employee had engaged in an incident of stalking and intimidation of his wife’s supervisor. Compounding his offense, he did this during his working hours and while driving his employer’s vehicle.

After the company fired the employee, his union filed a grievance. While conceding that the incident was deserving of serious discipline, the union argued that the grievor should not have been fired. His long service and his confession with respect to the incident should allow him to preserve his employment. read more…

In ‘denial’: Alberta Court of Appeal revisits addiction in the workplace

August 23, 2015 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, a must-read for Canadian employers dealing with employee addiction issues.

In lengthy reasons, a majority of the court agreed that there was no discrimination when an employee under the influence of cocaine was fired following a workplace accident. However, contrary to the findings of the Court of Queen’s Bench, the Court of Appeal also determined that the employee had been reasonably accommodated even though he was in “denial” of his addiction. read more…

Employer permitted to post employee photos in workplace

August 16, 2015 - by: Alexis Charpentier 0 COMMENTS

by Alexis Charpentier

The right to privacy is constantly evolving. And that has implications in the workplace. Just how far employees’ privacy rights extend is constantly at issue. Recently an arbitrator in Quebec had to decide whether employees’ privacy rights extended so far that they could object to their employer’s decision to post their photos, together with their performance metrics, at their workstations. read more…

BC Court of Appeal takes a narrow view of the SCC’s New Labour Trilogy

August 09, 2015 - by: Christopher Pigott 0 COMMENTS

By Christopher Pigott

In a previous article, we reported on the Supreme Court of Canada’s “New Labour Trilogy,” a set of three landmark constitutional law decisions released in January 2015 that raised questions about basic aspects of Canada’s labor relations system. Unsurprisingly, the decisions sparked a huge debate in the Canadian labor law community as to whether the Supreme Court of Canada had reshaped Canadian workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively, and take strike action. read more…

Changes to the residency requirement for grants of citizenship now in force

August 02, 2015 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

by Thora A. Sigurdson

On June 11, the sections of the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act dealing with the residence requirements for citizenship came into effect. These sections apply to individuals who have obtained permanent resident status in Canada and want to apply for Canadian citizenship. In general terms, it will take longer and require a clearer commitment to residing in Canada to become a citizen of Canada. read more…

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