Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

The case for cause with a single act of employee misconduct

May 03, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

The Supreme Court of Canada tells Canadian employers that they must strike a balance between the severity of the misconduct and the sanction imposed when deciding whether to terminate employment for cause. So what happens when the misconduct is a single act? Can that justify termination for cause? According to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the answer is yes. read more…

Refusing to collaborate in harassment investigation can be grounds for dismissal

March 22, 2015 0 COMMENTS

By Olivier Lamoureux

In Séguin v. Dessau Inc., a tribunal, the Commission des relations du travail (CRT), upheld the dismissal of an employee who had behaved in a vexatious manner toward a subordinate he was enamored with. The dismissed employee had refused to collaborate in the employer’s investigation into an incident of psychological harassment. read more…

Dangerous driving: employer liable for unauthorized use of company vehicle

January 11, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

It is well understood that Canadian employers may be vicariously liable for the actions of their employees when the employees are acting within the scope of their duties. But surely not if the employee acts against the instructions of the employer? Maybe so, according to a recent panel of the Alberta Court of Appeal. read more…

A face for radio? Employment law lessons from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal

December 07, 2014 1 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

Over the last month, the Canadian news media has devoted significant time to covering the Jian Ghomeshi scandal. Aside from the celebrity gossip factor, the story has had such staying power because it touches on so many controversial issues—BDSM (Bondage & Discipline / Domination & Submission / Sadism & Masochism), sexual consent, victim credibility, privacy concerns, power politics, criminal charges—the list is long. In addition (and more importantly for employers) the Ghomeshi story began as a story about the end of an employee’s employment. read more…

Disloyal conduct may justify termination

August 31, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

There is little dispute that senior employees owe a duty of good faith and loyalty to their employers. But what about junior employees—do they owe their employers the same duty? And if so, can they be fired if they violate that duty? Depending on the situation, the answer may be yes—at least in Quebec. read more…

Court upholds just-cause termination based on misconduct discovered post-termination

July 27, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

In a recent decision, a Canadian appellate-level court confirmed that employee misconduct discovered after a without-cause termination may be relied upon by an employer in support of a later argument of just cause for termination. read more…

BC addresses whether privacy rights include right to remain anonymous

July 13, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Chuck Harrison

In a recent Canadian case, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board addressed whether privacy rights entitle an employee disciplined for serious misconduct to remain anonymous in an arbitration award. read more…

‘But it was due to my addiction’—when is last-minute confession too late?

June 01, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

It is not uncommon for an employee to disclose an addiction only when being terminated for misconduct that may be related to the employee’s substance abuse. The employee then tries to trigger human rights protections due to his or her “disability.” A recent Alberta court decision, Bish v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, provides a good example of when such a claim may simply be too little, too late, even under Canada’s protective human rights laws. read more…

Limiting an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to modify last chance agreements

May 04, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements are a tool commonly used by workplace parties in Canada to give an employee accused of serious or repeated misconduct one last chance to keep his or her job. These agreements are sometimes used to manage an employee’s absenteeism, poor job performance, or drug or alcohol addiction. They may also be used to manage more serious employee misconduct such as insubordination, fighting, or harassment in the workplace. read more…

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