Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Court considers safety, fatigue of replacement workers in granting picketing injunction

A British Columbia judge has considered an employer’s concerns for the safety of replacement workers, in granting an injunction against picketing workers. The employer and Unifor were in a labour dispute. Unifor was...more

10/24/2014 - Canada Employee Rights Injunctions OHSA Safety Precautions

“An employee does not necessarily get one free sexual harassment before he loses his job”, says arbitrator in upholding dismissal...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a unionized employee for one incident of sexual harassment and threats on Facebook. After an incident at work in which the grievor was displeased with “X”, a female co-worker,...more

10/22/2014 - Canada Harassment OHSA Sexual Harassment Workplace Bullying

Ebola Preparedness for Employers: U.S. OSHA Launches Ebola Web Page

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an Ebola Web Page for employers providing information on Ebola and how to protect workers. OSHA states that workers, including...more

10/17/2014 - Canada Ebola OHSA Safety Precautions

Trucker who punched customer in the mouth was fired for cause

One would think it self-evident that employees who punch a customer’s employee in the face may be dismissed for just cause. But it took an appeal for an employer to win on that issue. The employee was a truck driver...more

10/15/2014 - Assault Canada Termination Trucking Industry

Worker who spread rumour that MOL inspector “paid off” by company, and that company was closing, was fired for cause

A worker who contacted a Ministry of Labour inspector with safety concerns but didn’t get the answer he wanted, and then spread rumours that the MOL inspector had been “paid off” by the company, was dismissed for cause, an...more

10/10/2014 - Bribery Canada OHSA Safety Precautions

Alberta Employer Liable for Employee’s Negligent Driving of Company Vehicle – Even Though Employer Told Him Not to Drive It

Alberta employers should heed a recent appeal decision in which an employer was held liable for damage caused by an employee while driving a company vehicle – even though he was told not to drive it....more

10/3/2014 - Canada Car Accident Company Cars Negligence

Employee Dismissed for Demanding Bonus and Saying that Employer “Could Fire Him”, Not For Raising Safety Concerns, Court Decides

An employee’s demand for a bonus and assertion that his employment relationship would not be “fruitful” and that his employer could fire him, was the reason for his dismissal, a court has decided. The dismissal was not...more

10/1/2014 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Safety Precautions Termination

B.C. Appeal Court Clarifies Workplace Accident Reporting Obligations

The employer of the injured worker, not the owner of the workplace, was required to report the worker’s injury, the B.C. Court of Appeal has held, in a decision that clarifies employers’ accident reporting...more

9/26/2014

Despite Having WSIB Coverage, Worker Permitted to Sue “Physically Demonstrative” Executive Officer who “Massaged” her Neck

Physically demonstrative managers beware: your company’s workers compensation coverage does not necessarily protect you from lawsuits by employees. Even though her employer had Workplace Safety and Insurance Board...more

9/24/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Liability Insurance Sexual Harassment

“Discipline” included “dismissal”: employer did not breach safety-reprisal settlement when it dismissed employee after harassment...

An employer that dismissed an employee after a harassment investigation did not breach a previous safety-reprisal settlement with the employee, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. In effect, the employer never...more

9/17/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Termination

Employee’s lack of knowledge of OHSA was factor in denying him promotion; employee’s grievance dismissed

An employee’s lack of knowledge of safety laws was a proper consideration in his employer’s decision to deny him a promotion, a labour arbitration board has decided. The employee, a unionized mechanic with the City of...more

9/12/2014 - Arbitration Canada Employee Rights OHSA Unions

No damages awarded for unforeseeable workplace assault, but employer ordered to rewrite harassment policy

The fact that an employee had engaged in harassment did not make it foreseeable that he would assault a coworker, a labour arbitrator has held. However, the company’s harassment policy was deficient and needed to be...more

9/5/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment OHSA

Ontario OHSA convictions at six-year low in 2013/14, average fine relatively steady

The number of Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act convictions was at a six-year low in the government’s fiscal 2013/14 year, Ontario Ministry of Labour statistics show. There were 780 convictions in 2013/14,...more

9/3/2014 - Canada OHSA

MOL safety blitz results show many new businesses non-compliant with basic requirements

The results of a recent Ontario Ministry of Labour safety blitz shows many new small businesses violate basic legal requirements such as posting a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. And non-compliant employers...more

8/29/2014 - Canada Compliance Employee Rights Ministry of Labour

“Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons”: employee’s violent statements warranted serious discipline but not dismissal

An electrician’s comment, “Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons” and “it would really feel good to kill something today” constituted workplace violence but did not warrant dismissal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

8/27/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Employer Liability Issues Employer No-Weapons Policies Hiring & Firing Workplace Violence

Employer asks HRTO for permission to access employer’s own “Occupational Health and Claims Management” file on employee

Must an employer obtain permission from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario to access medical records held in the employer’s own file on an employee who filed a human rights complaint with the Tribunal? That question is...more

8/22/2014 - Canada Medical Records Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

MOL permits employer to have multi-workplace joint health and safety committee, union’s challenge dismissed

A union has lost a request to suspend a Ministry of Labour Director’s order allowing a school board to establish a multi-workplace joint health and safety committee. The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act...more

8/20/2014 - Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Safety Precautions Unions

MOL inspector’s grievance gives glimpse into MOL’s after-hours accident response process

Ministry of Labour managers have discretion as to whether to send out an inspector when an employer calls after-hours about a workplace accident, a recent decision suggests. An MOL inspector filed a grievance under his...more

8/15/2014 - Canada Inspections Workplace Injury

Alleging panic attacks due to mistreatment at work, employee’s HRTO application dismissed for duplicating court action

Employees may not raise the same human rights issue before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the courts, a recent HRTO decision confirms. The employee had commenced a court action in which he claimed that he was...more

8/13/2014 - Canada Disability Disability Discrimination

Notes taken post-accident can lose privilege if used to refresh memory, court decision suggests

Privileged notes taken by a witness – or by the employer from a witness – after a workplace accident may cease to be privileged if used by the witness to prepare to testify in court, a recent court decision...more

8/8/2014 - Canada OHSA Testimony Witness

“Red flags” were used to assess workplace violence threat; employer’s request for psychiatric assessment was justified

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that the City of Toronto was justified in requiring an employee to obtain a psychiatric assessment because of “red flags” which included a comment, “Do you want me to die?”...more

8/6/2014 - Canada Safety Precautions Workplace Violence

Ministry of Labour sued for hiring allegedly incompetent inspector

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is facing a negligence suit by the lone survivor of the Christmas Eve, 2009 scaffold collapse that resulted in Metron Construction being fined $750,000.00 for safety violations....more

8/1/2014 - Canada Construction Accidents Construction Site Governmental Liability Minister of Labour Negligence Public Projects Safety Violations

Ontario employers to bear WSIB costs of injured agency employees

A new Ontario Bill will make employers liable for the WSIB costs of injured agency employees working for them. Bill 18, which passed first reading on July 16, 2014, will amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to...more

7/30/2014 - Canada Employer Liability Issues New Legislation Temporary Employees Workplace Injury

Are supervisors able to assess impairment? Drug driving decision suggests so

A recent Ontario decision suggests that laypersons - such as supervisors – may assess whether a person is impaired from drugs or alcohol, and their assessment will be considered in legal proceedings. In a “drug...more

7/25/2014 - Canada Drunk Driving Employer Liability Issues Marijuana Temporary Impairments

Ontario Bill to extend protection of OHSA to unpaid trainees

A new Ontario Bill will give unpaid trainees the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OHSA currently gives that protection to paid workers only. The current definition of “worker” under the OHSA...more

7/23/2014 - Canada Hiring & Firing New Legislation OHSA Unpaid Interns

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