Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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“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

Reprimands for “violation of basic safety protocols” were not discriminatory

After failing in a harassment grievance that was based on the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an employee has failed in his bid to persuade the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that safety-related discipline against him...more

7/16/2014 - Canada OHSA Safety Precautions

“Disgruntled and aggressive clients” posed safety threat under OHSA

An employee who was fired one day after complaining to the Ministry of Labour that she felt threatened by “disgruntled and aggressive clients” was entitled to damages for the retaliatory discharge, the Ontario Labour...more

7/9/2014 - Canada Damages Former Employee Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation

Arbitrator may order change to hours, location of doctor who sexually-harassed hospital nurse

Where a doctor has sexually harassed a nurse, a labour arbitrator has authority to decide how close the doctor should be able to work with the nurse, and under what conditions, an Ontario arbitrator has decided....more

7/3/2014 - Arbitrators Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Hospitals Physicians Sexual Harassment

Safety committee members lose claim that employer retaliated against them

Disciplinary letters issued to three members of a safety “Policy Committee” were not retaliatory under the Canada Labour Code, the Canada Industrial Relations Board has decided. Air Canada issued letters to three...more

7/2/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Air Canada Airlines Canada Paid Leave Retaliation

Supreme Court denies chronic stress WCB claim after employee reacted to disciplinary letter

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied an employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits for “chronic stress” which he said resulted from a disciplinary letter that followed years of conflict over another workplace...more

6/26/2014 - Canada SCC Workers' Compensation Defense

Company fined $25,000 for operating electrical contracting business without license under Electricity Act after apprentice injured

An electrical contractor has been convicted and fined for carrying on an electrical contracting business without being licensed under the Ontario Electricity Act. A young apprentice with the company was seriously...more

6/24/2014 - Canada Construction Accidents Construction Workers Contractor's License Contractors Subcontractors

$50,000 fine after trip-over-cord accident shows employers must listen to safety committee recommendations

A nurse’s trip over a cord has landed a hospital a $50,000 fine, where the joint health and safety committee had previously documented cord trips as a known hazard. The nurse was administering medication to a patient. ...more

6/19/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Workplace Injury

Threat, assault on supervisor were just cause for dismissal at isolated mine in NWT with “zero tolerance” violence policy

An employee at an isolated camp in the Northwest Territories who assaulted and threatened his supervisor was dismissed for just cause, an adjudicator has decided. The employee was an equipment operator at a mine site....more

6/12/2014 - Assault Hiring & Firing Mining Termination Workplace Violence Zero Tolerance Policies

Supervisor who solicited and procured drugs from employee was fired for cause

The B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld the for-cause termination of a supervisor who used text messages to solicit and obtain drugs from an employee under his supervision. Safety was one of the supervisor’s responsibilities in...more

6/10/2014 - Appeals Hiring & Firing Illegal Drugs Termination Workplace Safety

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