Court refuses to put the brakes on random drug and alcohol testing – for now

May 14, 2017 - by: Rachel Younan 0 COMMENTS

by Rachel Younan

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has declined to grant an injunction that would have suspended the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) ability to implement its random drug and alcohol testing policy. In Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 v. Toronto Transit Commission, 2017 ONSC 2078, the court concluded that there was a serious issue to be tried in the arbitration of the TTC policy, namely whether the threshold requirement of a demonstrated workplace problem with alcohol and drugs had been met.

Background

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Surprising pro-employer decisions on post-employment restrictive covenants

by Kyla Stott-Jess and Stefan Mirkovic

Employers often place great faith in restrictive covenants to protect their assets when hiring key employees. In Canada however, noncompetition clauses have generally been very difficult to enforce outside of the context of a sale of business. Nonsolicitation clauses have also been carefully scrutinized by judges even though they are more readily enforced.

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Freedom of expression during collective bargaining: What are the limits?

by Stéphane Fillion and Laïla Tremblay

In Canada, many cases have considered and limited an employer’s freedom of expression during collective bargaining. But what about the freedom of expression of the employees during that period? Is it similarly limited?

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Seasonal employee not bound by noncompetition clause

March 26, 2017 - by: Matthew Larsen 0 COMMENTS

by Matthew Larsen

A British Columbia court recently explored a novel issue – whether a noncompetition clause is enforceable against a seasonal employee.

Facts

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‘I quit … oh wait, I didn’t mean it!’

March 19, 2017 - by: Stefan Kimpton 0 COMMENTS

by Stefan Kimpton

Employers don’t often enough think about the consequences of a heat-of-the-moment resignation. It is generally assumed that when an employee says “I quit” or storms out of the workplace, the employment relationship has come to an end and the employer owes no further obligations to the employee.

Think again. As a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Johal v Simmons da Silva LLP, 2016 ONSC 7835 – reminds us, employers ought to exercise caution before accepting a resignation from an employee who quits suddenly following an emotional outburst at work. For the resignation to be valid, it must be clear and unequivocal. Most importantly, it must reflect the employee’s intention to resign.

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Safety incidents: the right to remain silent versus the obligation to speak

January 29, 2017 - by: Deanah Shelly 0 COMMENTS

by Deanah Shelly

What if this happens at your Canadian facility: One of your employees witnesses a workplace incident. Soon, enforcement officers are on-site investigating the incident. They may be police officers, health and safety inspectors, or environmental officers. One of the investigating officers asks the employee to assist and provide a witness statement. What should the employee do? What are the employee’s rights?

This split-second decision can have long-term and far-reaching legal implications for that employee, the employee’s coworkers, and your organization. Employees in such a situation might risk being charged with obstructing justice or inadvertently providing evidence to implicate themselves or others.

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Can tribunal rule on harassment complaint if alleged harasser works for different employer?

August 28, 2016 - by: Lorene Novakowski 0 COMMENTS

by Lorene Novakowski

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear a complaint where the alleged harasser was employed by a different employer than the alleged victim. The alleged harasser was not in a position of control over the complainant even though they worked at the same site. So the complaint was not regarding employment, as it must be. So ruled the BC Court of Appeal recently. read more…

Canadian corporate directors may be liable for unpaid wages

February 21, 2016 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Bechamp

A recent arbitration decision out of the province of Quebec (available in French only) involving the director of a bankrupt corporation serves as a reminder that directors can be personally liable for unpaid employee wages, notice of termination, and vacation pay. 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…

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…

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