Contracting out union work – comparing cases

September 15, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Brian P. Smeenk

An interesting series of recent labor tribunal decisions provides lessons about the application of contracting out clauses in union agreements. These cases demonstrate how virtually the same collective agreement requirements can be handled quite differently, with dramatically different outcomes. They also demonstrate that contracting out bargaining unit work in the face of collective agreement restrictions needs to be done in a carefully considered and planned manner. read more…

Expansion of workplace harassment and violence reprisal complaints?

June 02, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

Most occupational health and safety statutes across Canada contain provisions that prohibit employer reprisals for workplace health and safety matters. While the outcome of complaints made by workers regarding employer reprisals is always fact specific, employers had been taking comfort from several recent decisions.

Those decisions suggested that complaints regarding employer reprisals in relation to allegations of workplace harassment couldn’t be sustained under health and safety legislation. However, a recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in Ashworth v. Boston Pizza, where an employee was terminated after her manager allegedly confronted her in an angry manner, has changed this view. read more…

Employers on their own for compliance with health and safety orders

November 25, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

Employers in many Canadian provinces have often looked to Ministry of Labour inspectors to provide guidance to assist them in complying with their obligations under various occupational health and safety statutes and regulations. Employers often request such advice because they believe that Ministry of Labour inspectors, who visit multiple workplaces and observe many different means of compliance, have useful guidance or recommendations. read more…