Can one unionized worker sue another?

September 18, 2016 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Stéphane Fillion and Romeo Aguilar Perez

It is well established in Canada that any legal action whose essential character arises from a collective agreement falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of an arbitrator, not the courts. Clearly, that includes a dispute between a unionized employee and his or her employer.

But what if a dispute involves not only a unionized employee and an employer but also other employees? In other words, can a unionized employee personally sue a colleague for damages that occurred while at work in the courts? According to a recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision in Barber c. J.T., apparently not. read more…

Arbitration awards: a permanent part of an employee file

by Emilie Paquin-Holmested

In Canada, amnesty clauses are commonly found in collective agreements. The purpose of such clauses is to erase disciplinary measures from an employee’s file after a given period, usually between six and 24 months. Therefore, normally employers cannot consider disciplinary measures that predate the amnesty period when determining the appropriate disciplinary measure to be imposed. 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…

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…

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…

Limiting an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to modify last chance agreements

May 04, 2014 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

By Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements are a tool commonly used by workplace parties in Canada to give an employee accused of serious or repeated misconduct one last chance to keep his or her job. These agreements are sometimes used to manage an employee’s absenteeism, poor job performance, or drug or alcohol addiction. They may also be used to manage more serious employee misconduct such as insubordination, fighting, or harassment in the workplace. read more…

How far-reaching will the Irving Pulp & Paper decision be?

July 07, 2013 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

By Clayton Jones

Last week we told you about the recent decision in Irving Pulp & Paper where the Supreme Court of Canada severely limited an employer’s right to perform random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. The implications of the Irving decision will undoubtedly be far-reaching, including on two prominent cases currently being heard by arbitrators in Alberta and British Columbia that deal with random drug testing–Suncor Energy and Teck (Coal). read more…

Progressive discipline prevails—even where harassment proven

June 09, 2013 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

By Keri Bennett

When a long-service costume designer was dismissed following a workplace harassment investigation, a British Colombia arbitrator found the company’s no-hire ban for all future productions to be excessive, since there was a lack of progressive discipline.

Despite finding that the fired employee had engaged in longstanding and widespread harassment of junior employees, the arbitrator in Warner Bros. Television (B.C.) Inc. ruled that even the least remorseful of employees is entitled to an opportunity to change his or her behavior.

read more…

Appeal court upholds temporary injunction against drug and alcohol testing

December 23, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess and Katie Clayton

Canadian courts have been reluctant to allow random drug and alcohol testing in most workplaces. The issue was recently back before the Alberta Court of Appeal. Oil Company Suncor appealed an injunction against its new proposed drug and alcohol testing policy. read more…

Indefinite protection for federal employee disabled by work-related injury

November 11, 2012 - by: Nicola Sutton 0 COMMENTS

by Nicola Sutton

When the employment relationship becomes impossible to perform because of a factor outside the control of a Canadian employer or employee, the employee’s employment can be terminated by virtue of frustration of contract. When an employee won’t be able to return to work because of injury or illness, the same applies. But not so for federally regulated employers such as banks, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, etc.

According to the recent decision of Kingsway Transport v. Teamsters, Local Union 91, the frustration argument is no longer available for those employers when the employee’s inability to return to work is because of a work-related injury or illness. read more…

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