Reconsidering random drug and alcohol testing in Canada

July 10, 2016 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

Random workplace drug and alcohol testing is generally prohibited by Canadian employers in Canada. However, there are limited circumstances in which it may be permitted. A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, Suncor Energy Inc. v. Unifor Local 707A, provides some further guidance for employers operating in Canada. And provides them with a glimmer of hope. 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…

Benefits beyond age 65?

June 26, 2016 - by: Marc Rodrigue 0 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

The laws that generally provided for mandatory retirement in Canada have been eliminated. Across Canada, with very few exceptions, employees generally cannot be forced to retire at age 65. But can their benefits be cut off at age 65?

Even if employers are permitted to cut off benefits to workers 65 and older under human rights antidiscrimination laws, are they contractually entitled to do so? Recent labor arbitration decisions indicate that if employers don’t properly contract to cut off benefits, they may not be entitled to cut off benefits at all.

read more…

Ontario court finds government’s ‘intransigent’ bargaining strategy unconstitutional

June 19, 2016 - by: Christopher Pigott 0 COMMENTS

by Chris Pigott

In 2015, we reported on the Supreme Court of Canada’s “New Labour Trilogy”—three landmark constitutional law decisions from January 2015 that called into question basic aspects of Canadian labor law. Those decisions sparked a massive debate in the labor law community as to whether Canadian workers had a brand new set of greatly expanded workplace rights.

Just over one year later, some lower courts appear to be taking the view that the New Labour Trilogy did not reshape Canadian workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively, and take strike action. read more…

Overcoming the hurdles in managing workers’ compensation claims

June 12, 2016 - by: David Marchione 0 COMMENTS

by David Marchione, OHS Consultant/Paralegal

Many employers struggle to efficiently manage workers’ compensation claims. Most provincial experience rating programs established by workers’ compensation boards are based on two things: claim costs and claim duration. Thus, a failure by an employer to efficiently manage a claim can result in increased costs and increased duration of the claim, thus leading to a negative impact on the employer’s experience rating. The situation is further complicated by the fact that managing a worker’s return to work often becomes more difficult as time passes. read more…

Damages for wrongful dismissal: Who must prove what?

June 05, 2016 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

As noted in past articles here, Canadian employees can sue for lack of adequate notice of termination. Fired employees seeking damages for inadequate notice have a corresponding duty to mitigate or minimize any resulting losses. If other work is available, their losses may be minimal. Employees frequently claim a lack of available work. But who must prove what?

In a recent decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that where lack of work is claimed, the employee must prove it. It is not up to the employer to prove the opposite. read more…

Harassment at work: Do victim’s wishes matter?

May 29, 2016 - by: Alexandra Meunier 0 COMMENTS

by Alexandra Meunier

When assessing whether behavior constitutes sexual harassment, Canadian decision-makers usually look at the situation objectively. In other words, they don’t typically put much emphasis on subjective elements, such as the perception of the victim. Recently, an arbitrator in Quebec has done just that. read more…

Healthcare workers’ longer hours don’t necessarily increase health, safety risks

May 15, 2016 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

Most employers know that there are restrictions under employment standards legislation regarding maximum hours of work for their employees. In certain circumstances, it is possible to exceed these daily or weekly maximums. However, care must be exercised when doing so in order to avoid a breach of the employer’s duties under occupational health and safety legislation. This issue was explored in the recent Ontario decision of Durham (Regional Municipality) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees. read more…

Sale of business to smaller company doesn’t equal termination

May 08, 2016 - by: Olivier Lamoureux 0 COMMENTS

by Olivier Lamoureux

A Québec court recently ruled that there was no constructive dismissal arising from the sale of a business to a smaller third-party purchaser for whom a manager refused to work. The Quebec Court of Appeal in the Boulad case (2108805 Ontario inc. c. Boulad, 2016 QCCA 75) overturned a lower court decision that would have required the employer to pay substantial damages to a manager who didn’t want to work for the new owner. read more…

More human rights ‘frustrations’

May 01, 2016 - by: David Wong 0 COMMENTS

by David G. Wong

Traditionally, when an employee’s absenteeism was excessive and there was no reasonable prospect of  returning to work in the foreseeable future—as long as there was no contractual term providing otherwise—a Canadian employer could discharge the employee for non-culpable absenteeism or treat the employment contract as having been frustrated. This would bring the employee’s employment to an end. read more…

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