Disability benefits claimant abandoned job

January 03, 2016 - by: Shane Todd 0 COMMENTS

by Shane Todd

Disability claims management is never easy. It is particularly difficult when employees refuse to provide enough medical information to substantiate their absence and entitlement to benefits, while also refusing to return to work. The decision in Betts v. IBM Canada Ltd., 2015 ONSC 5298, provides guidance to employers dealing with such cases. It confirms that failing to comply with the terms of a disability plan or to return to work may constitute job abandonment. read more…

New year, new accessibility obligations

December 27, 2015 - by: Jackie VanDerMeulen 0 COMMENTS

by Jackie VanDerMeulen

Establishing proactive measures to ensure accessibility is becoming common ground in Canada. Ontario has the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Manitoba is in the process of rolling out similar legislation, which will start impacting the private sector in 2018. British Columbia is in the process of rolling out its Accessibility 2024 initiative. And Nova Scotia has announced that it too has plans to introduce accessibility legislation. read more…

Managing the risks posed by distracted driving

December 20, 2015 - by: Carla Oliver 0 COMMENTS

by Carla Oliver

We’ve all seen it. Maybe when looking around while stuck in stop-and-go traffic on a highway. Maybe when noticing that a car in front of us doesn’t move when the traffic light turns green. It’s the distracted driver—texting away on his or her handheld device instead of paying attention to the traffic and road conditions.

Distracted driving has become one of the most dangerous hazards on our roads today. In most provinces in Canada, fatalities caused by distracted driving have now exceeded the fatalities caused by both impaired driving and speeding. The Canadian Automobile Association has published statistics noting that a driver texting on a cell phone is 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident or near accident than a nondistracted driver. read more…

B.C. Court of Appeal addresses termination and severance issues

December 13, 2015 - by: Kevin O'Neill 0 COMMENTS

by Kevin O’Neill, Q.C.

In Canada, in Hall v. Quicksilver Resources Canada Inc., 2015 BCCA 291, the British Columbia Court of Appeal addressed two important termination and severance issues:

1. In the sale of a business, when and how do an employee’s years of service continue to bind the purchaser?
2. What is the proper severance for a “skilled services” employee (not senior management) with 8.5 months of service? read more…

Further clarification on ‘unjust’ dismissals

December 06, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

By Louise Béchamp

As we reported previously, employers in Canada’s federal sector have had the right to dismiss employees without cause with one caveat. Only if the dismissal was not “unjust” within the meaning of section 240 of the Canada Labour Code. In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal determined that a termination without cause was not automatically unjust. The court, however, refrained from setting out a definition of unjust, instead indicating that it would leave it up to adjudicators appointed under the Canada Labour Code to develop its meaning.

In a recent decision, Bernier v. Traversiers Bourbonnais Inc. (available in French only), an adjudicator appointed under the Canada Labour Code has now clarified what an “unjust” dismissal is. read more…

Legal haze: accommodating employees who use medical marijuana

November 22, 2015 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 1 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

One of the hot topics discussed during the recent Canadian federal election was the possible legalization of marijuana. The Liberal Party, which won the election, took a position in favor of legalization as part of its platform.

As the country waits to see whether the new government will put forward legislation to legalize marijuana, Canadian employers continue to navigate the complicated issues that arise in their workplaces when their employees have medical prescriptions permitting their use of marijuana. read more…

BYOD: privacy issues for Canadian employers

November 15, 2015 - by: Lorene Novakowski 0 COMMENTS

by Lorene A. Novakowski

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, programs are increasingly popular in Canada, as they are in the United States. Under a BYOD program, employers require or expect employees to use their own mobile devices for business purposes. The practice raises privacy concerns as well as concerns about ownership of company data and the ability to retain company data when an employee departs.

In August 2015, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s federal government together with those of British Columbia and Alberta jointly issued a paper considering the privacy implications of BYOD programs. The paper also provides useful recommendations for employers. read more…

Incentive plan entitlements on wrongful dismissal

November 08, 2015 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

By Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, the wording of incentive plans can have a significant impact on the payments required on termination without cause. This point was highlighted by three Ontario decisions earlier this year. read more…

Employee fired for expressing political views at work wins reinstatement and damages

November 01, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

With a Canadian federal election recently behind us, it is safe to say that politics has been a hot topic of discussion in some Canadian workplaces. A Quebec employer was recently reminded, at significant cost, that employees are entitled to express their political opinions at work and may not be fired for doing so. read more…

New high-water mark set by human rights tribunal for damages for sexual harassment

October 25, 2015 - by: Nicole Singh 0 COMMENTS

by Nicole Singh

In May 2015, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario issued an unprecedented decision when it awarded two temporary foreign workers more than $200,000 in damages for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect resulting from sexual harassment in employment. read more…

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