Clarification not required when accepting disabled employee’s resignation

July 30, 2017 - by: David Wong 0 COMMENTS

by David G. Wong

In its recent decision in Razo v. Essilor Canada, 2017 BCHRT 133, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal dismissed the argument that an employer could not accept the resignation of a long-term disabled employee without making further inquiries.

In this case, the complainant, Helen Razo, filed a complaint alleging discrimination on the ground of disability. The employer denied that it had refused to allow Razo to return to work and claimed that she had resigned.

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You said what? Hiring interview comments prove costly for employer

July 23, 2017 - by: Nicole Singh 0 COMMENTS

by Nicole Singh

Canadian employers who provide inaccurate or misleading information during the hiring process can be held liable for their broken promises. The recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Feldstein v. 364 Northern Development Corporation is a stark reminder that a negligent misrepresentation during the hiring process can be costly.

Facts

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More employee benefits on the horizon for Canadians

July 16, 2017 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

The year 2017 may be remembered for its significant changes in matters of labor and employment across Canada. Several jurisdictions are amending their labor and employment regimes, including the federal government. With the introduction of Bill C-44, the federal government has adopted significant reforms to the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code.

While federally regulated employers will want to pay close attention, it is worth noting that these reforms are already trickling down to the provincial level. Indeed, some provinces have proposed amendments to their provincial employment and labor legislation, all of which signal a trend toward more employer scrutiny in the labor and employment spheres, as well as a shift toward more employee-friendly rules. Employers should be cognizant of these changes as they are implemented at both the federal and provincial levels.

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IRCC launches Global Skills Strategy to aid in hiring highly skilled workers outside of Canada

by Andres Miguel Pareja

The Canadian government recognizes that when companies can thrive and grow, they create more jobs. In an attempt to help innovative companies grow, flourish, and create jobs for Canadians, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the new Global Skills Strategy on June 12. This program gives employers a faster and more predictable process for attracting highly trained and skilled workers to Canada.

There are three components of the program that are relevant for employers: a work permit exemption for certain workers, fast processing of certain work permit applications, and the Global Talent Stream managed by Service Canada.

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Discipline for off-duty cocaine use justified in safety-sensitive workplace

June 25, 2017 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30, has confirmed that employers have the ability to take disciplinary action against employees for drug and alcohol use in safety-sensitive workplaces.

The worker in this case was employed in a mine where a drug and alcohol policy had been implemented. The policy required workers to disclose any dependence or addiction issues and to make such disclosure in advance of any incident occurring. If employees followed the policy, they were offered treatment for their addiction. If disclosure was not made and an incident occurred and the employee subsequently tested positive for alcohol or drugs, he or she could be terminated.

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Broader workplace harassment claims: Is Canada becoming more litigious?

June 18, 2017 - by: Shane Todd 0 COMMENTS

by Shane Todd

Can a Canadian employee sue an employer for harassment that is not related to a discrimination claim? The answer used to be “no.” But that’s changing.

In most jurisdictions across Canada, an employee could sue or file a human rights application for harassment related to unlawful discrimination. An employee could file a complaint with the appropriate government agency about workplace harassment that violates health and safety or harassment laws. An employee could even sue for constructive dismissal based on harassing conduct. But, until recently, an employee could not usually sue an employer for harassment that was unrelated to some other legal right or protection.

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Ontario labor and employment laws to undergo significant amendments

by Sophie Arseneault and Christian Paquette

In Canada’s most populous province, labor and employment matters are governed by two fundamental statutes: the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (LRA). The ESA sets out minimum rights and obligations of employers and employees in the province. The LRA governs a host of matters regarding labor relations from certification and collective bargaining to unfair labor practices and decertification.

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Clean slate: Purchaser not bound by poor WCB record of company it acquired

June 04, 2017 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

When contemplating acquiring the assets of a company in Canada, the purchaser will engage in extensive due diligence to ensure it is making a sound investment. These searches almost always include inquiries with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) in the relevant province.

A poor result, with outstanding claims and high premiums, might send the transaction sideways. However, a recent decision of the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation suggests that a purchaser may avoid the consequences of a mediocre WCB record altogether and wipe the slate clean.

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Life after certification applications: Lawful outsourcing and scope of bargaining units

by Karine Fournier and Valérie Gareau-Dalpé

Union certification applications can have profound impacts on the workplace. The bargaining unit’s composition will have implications for the conduct of the employer’s business, and it bears close attention.

The union applying for certification will be the one proposing the scope of the bargaining unit. Merely showing there is a more appropriate unit than the one proposed by the union is not enough. To challenge the proposed unit, employers must show that the proposed unit is actually inappropriate in the specific context of the company. Employers also face potential unfair labor practice complaints for their conduct during union organization campaigns.

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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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