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 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…

Supreme Court of Canada reshapes labor law (again)

March 08, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by John D.R. Craig, Christopher D. Pigott, and Brandon Wiebe

In the January 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL), the Court found, for the first time, that Canadian workers have a constitutional “right to strike.”

In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court overturned almost 30 years of case law that had expressly established that the guarantee of freedom of association in section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect strike activity. read more…

Union ordered to pay punitive damages, employer legal costs following illegal strike

October 12, 2014 - by: Lorene Novakowski 0 COMMENTS

By Lorene Novakowski

Following a Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruling that an illegal strike had occurred against Canada Post on two dates in November 2010, the corporation sought damages from the union. The issue went before an arbitrator. read more…

Expedited union elections: The Canadian experience

April 20, 2014 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

By Brian P. Smeenk

Many Canadian provinces have in recent years transitioned to an expedited union certification vote system. Votes typically take place within five or 10 business days of a union application.

From the perspective of Canadian employers, this is better than the previous “card check” system that was in place in most jurisdictions and is still in place in some (such as the federal sector). But this does not mean that the expedited vote system in Canada is satisfactory. read more…

Mandatory flu vaccination/masking policy upheld

December 08, 2013 - by: admin 0 COMMENTS

By Charles G. Harrison

A recent labor arbitration in British Columbia upheld the employers’ policy requiring annual flu vaccinations or masking for their healthcare staff. Coming as it does during flu season, this is a timely decision. read more…

Individual privacy rights trumped by union’s freedom of expression

November 24, 2013 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Lorene Novakowski and Brandon Wiebe

On November 15, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a union’s right to collect, use, and disclose personal information for legitimate labor relations purposes outweighs an individual’s right to privacy. In so doing, it declared Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) unconstitutional but suspended the declaration for one year to allow the Alberta legislature time to cure the statute. read more…

Objective medical proof not necessary for accommodation duties to arise

November 10, 2013 - by: Marc Rodrigue 1 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

Under human rights legislation across the country, Canadian employers have a general duty to accommodate employees who are unable to perform their work for a period of time because of illness or disability to the point of undue hardship.

This may require an employer to grant an employee a leave of absence from the workplace. But what if the employee doesn’t provide medical documentation to justify such an absence; surely you could deny the leave? Not necessarily, according to an Ontario arbitrator in TRW Canada Ltd. and TPEA (Lockhart). read more…

Contracting out union work – comparing cases

September 15, 2013 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

By Brian P. Smeenk

An interesting series of recent labor tribunal decisions provides lessons about the application of contracting out clauses in union agreements. These cases demonstrate how virtually the same collective agreement requirements can be handled quite differently, with dramatically different outcomes. They also demonstrate that contracting out bargaining unit work in the face of collective agreement restrictions needs to be done in a carefully considered and planned manner. read more…

No more human rights forum shopping?

August 25, 2013 - by: Lindsey Taylor 0 COMMENTS

By Lindsey Taylor

A few weeks ago, we reported on the recent decision in Baker v. Navistar Canada Inc., which confirmed that unionized employees aren’t able to bring employment claims to court. Rather, these claims must be brought within the framework of the special legal relationship between the union and the employer, either by way of a grievance or a complaint to the respective Labour Relations Board if there are grounds to do so.

But what about human rights issues – where should a unionized employee address those? And can a unionized employee pursue claims in both arbitration and human rights forums? A recent case from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Mahdi v. Hertz Canada, says “no.” read more…

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