Human rights claim disallowed; victim was part of the harassment

February 02, 2014 - by: Nicola Sutton 0 COMMENTS

By Nicola Sutton

In December 2013 we reported on the allegations faced by the Miami Dolphins that one of its players had been bullied and harassed by his teammates, an issue faced by many employers. Sometimes these issues are complicated when a complaining employee has been or is an active participant in the complained-of behavior.

How do Canadian courts and human rights tribunals deal with these situations? The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal had occasion to consider this recently in Kafer v. Sleep Country Canada and another (No. 2). read more…

Can you keep a secret? Court upholds termination for breach of confidentiality

January 26, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

By Hannah Roskey

When will an employee’s breach of confidence justify immediate dismissal under Canadian law? A recent decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court demonstrates that clearly drafted employer policies intended to protect confidential information can indeed be strictly enforced. In Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the court upheld the dismissal of a 20-year employee for cause in response to her breach of confidentiality and privacy policies. read more…

Human rights damages awarded by Ontario court

January 19, 2014 - by: Eowynne Noble 0 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

In 2008, Ontario’s Human Rights Code was revised to specifically permit Ontario courts to award damages for breaches of the Code. Before this, it was only the Human Rights Tribunal that had jurisdiction to award damages for human rights violations in Ontario.

Since then, Ontario plaintiffs have made many attempts to obtain human rights damages in wrongful dismissal and other employment-related lawsuits, but none have succeeded until now. For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court has awarded damages for a breach of the Code in Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods, 2013 ONSC 5799. read more…

Access to information in labor relations: jurisdiction of arbitrators

January 12, 2014 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Édith Charbonneau and Antoine Aylwin

One of your unionized employees files a complaint for psychological harassment and requests to access your investigation report several years later. When you refuse, the employee turns to the Quebec information and privacy board to get that access. But does the information and privacy board have jurisdiction, or could a grievance arbitrator have jurisdiction over such access issues? read more…

Terminating employees for cause: lessons from the Canadian healthcare sector

January 05, 2014 - by: Ian Campbell 0 COMMENTS

By Ian Campbell

It seems to be increasingly difficult to justify terminations for cause—even when an employee is found to have engaged in serious misconduct. read more…

When is a truck just a truck: the evolving definition of workplace

December 29, 2013 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

As we reported earlier this year, Canadian courts are being asked with increasing frequency to expand the definition of “workplace” under occupational health and safety legislation. read more…

New occupational health and safety awareness training to be required in Ontario

December 22, 2013 - by: Patrick Gannon 0 COMMENTS

By Patrick Gannon

Occupational health and safety legislation in all provinces across Canada places the ultimate responsibility for occupational health and safety on employers. Among other things, Canadian employers have to provide certain information, instruction, and training to workers.

Last month, Ontario took occupational health and safety training to a new level, announcing that Ontario employers will have to ensure that all workers and supervisors have completed a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program. The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation will take effect on July 1, 2014. It is the first regulation of its kind in North America. read more…

B.C. court decision offers lessons to employers about employment contracts

December 15, 2013 - by: Kevin O'Neill 0 COMMENTS

By Kevin O’Neill

In a recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision, Gerry Miller v. Convergys CMG Canada Limited Partnership, the court confirms a number of useful principles for employers who use an employment agreement containing minimum severance provisions. 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…

Bullying and harassment in the workplace: lessons from the Miami Dolphins

December 01, 2013 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

The professional sports world has been buzzing with the sudden departure of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin from the Miami Dolphins. His midseason exit from the team comes amid allegations that he was the victim of harassment and bullying.

The scandal has given the public a glimpse behind closed locker-room doors, into the testosterone-fueled “workplace culture” of professional football—a culture rife with hazing, teasing, and, in this particular instance, aggressive and targeted harassment of a young player. While Martin’s alleged harassment will be dealt with under U.S. laws, his situation draws attention to issues faced by Canadian employers. read more…

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