Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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“Discussing inappropriate personal matters at work”, aggressive conduct, gets employee fired for cause

An employee on a “last-chance” agreement was fired for cause for his “aggressive, condescending and rude” behaviour including discussing sensitive personal matters at work. The employee had worked at the company for 28...more

9/1/2015 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Employment Policies Harassment Hiring & Firing Mediation Workplace Bullying

Arbitration board imposes 24-hour firefighter shift, despite employer’s safety concerns

An interest arbitration board has imposed a 24-hour shift for firefighters employed by the Ontario City of St. Catharines, despite the city’s strenuous objections based largely on safety concerns. The City and...more

8/27/2015 - Arbitration Firemen Unions Wage and Hour Work Schedules

U.S. construction companies and manager face fines of nearly $2 million for exposing workers to asbestos

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has cited a construction company and its manager for asbestos-related violations and imposed fines of almost $2 million.  Safety regulators are increasingly taking...more

8/25/2015 - Asbestos Asbestos Litigation Construction Industry Foreign Workers OSHA Safety Inspections Workplace Hazards Wrongful Termination

Two superintendents fined for OHSA violations in scissor lift fatality

Two superintendents have been found guilty of offences under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act and fined $4,000 each after a worker died when a scissor lift was knocked over by a garage door. The accident...more

8/13/2015 - Fines Heavy Equipment Ministry of Labour OHSA Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

Employee guilty of “reckless” speeding in mine trolley: dismissal upheld

Unsafe operation of equipment is an easy way to get dismissed or charged with Occupational Health and Safety Act – or sometimes even criminal – offences. A labour arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a mining employee for...more

8/5/2015 - Arbitration Canada Heavy Equipment Mining OHSA Reckless Driving Workplace Safety

“Zero tolerance” policy on drugs in workplace upheld by human rights tribunal where employee did not have “marijuana card”

An employee who smoked marijuana on the job without legal and medical authorization was not discriminated against when dismissed under his employer’s “zero tolerance” policy, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has...more

7/31/2015 - Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Marijuana Medical Marijuana OHSA Tribunals Zero Tolerance Policies

MOL engineer not qualified to give expert evidence: he was too involved in the investigation, too closely identified with...

An Ontario judge has refused to permit a professional engineer employed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour to testify as an expert in a health and safety prosecution. A company was charged under the Occupational Health...more

7/23/2015 - Construction Industry Expert Testimony Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

FOI adjudicator denies access to MOL inspector’s reasons for recommending no OHSA charges against employer

An adjudicator with the office of Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has denied access to a Ministry of Labour inspector’s reasons for recommending that Occupational Health and Safety Act charges not be laid...more

7/17/2015 - Investigations Migrant Workers Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Public Records Workplace Safety

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

7/14/2015 - Duty to Mitigate Hiring & Firing Lost Wages OHSA OLRB Retaliation

Labour arbitrator agrees to hear harassment-retaliation grievance under OHSA

Although a temporary employee had no termination protection under the collective agreement, he did have the right to advance a reprisal / retaliation claim under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a labour arbitrator has...more

7/9/2015 - Arbitration Collective Agreements Harassment Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Temporary Employees Unions Workplace Bullying Wrongful Termination

Employer permitted to use “cumbersome” two-page sick leave medical form implemented after STD costs increase, arbitrator rules

An employer’s introduction of a new two-page sick leave medical form did not violate the collective agreement, a labour arbitrator has held. The employer introduced the form in response to the increasing costs of...more

7/7/2015 - Collective Agreements Disability Leave Sick Leave United Steelworkers Workplace Safety

Arbitrator Strikes Down Employer’s Total Ban On Smoking During Shift

Starting in January 2015, the employer – which manufactured wire and cable products – banned smoking anywhere on company property, including outside of the plant. Employees were also prohibited from leaving company property...more

7/1/2015 - Arbitration Canada Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies OHSA Smoking Bans Unions

Project Manager for Metron Construction convicted of criminal negligence in Christmas Eve fatalities. Three individuals and two...

The project manager who supervised the four workers who died after a swing stage scaffold collapsed on Christmas Eve, 2009, has been found guilty on four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal...more

6/26/2015 - Construction Industry Criminal Code Criminal Negligence Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Creative sentence” imposed for OHSA violation: company must give 150 hours of safety presentations on case, plus pay fine

A Nova Scotia court has imposed a “creative sentence” for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, requiring the company to make safety presentations in addition to paying a fine. A journeyman electrician...more

6/23/2015 - Canada Corporate Fines OHSA Training Requirements Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury

Another lesson about clarity in settlements: employer may file WSIB appeal after mediated settlement, despite union’s objection

An employer’s appeal challenging a departed employee’s workers’ compensation entitlements may proceed, despite being filed after the employer, union and employee reached a settlement at mediation. The union had filed...more

6/18/2015 - Appeals Arbitration Employee Benefits Grievance Process Mediation OHSA Ontario Settlement Unions Wage and Hour Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety WSIB

U.S. OSHA and Health Canada continue “partnership” to coordinate labelling and classification of hazardous chemicals, implement...

Health Canada and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have announced that they will “continue their partnership” to “align United States and Canadian regulatory approaches regarding labelling and...more

6/16/2015 - Canada Chemicals Globally Harmonized System Healthcare OSHA Workplace Safety

Ontario Bill will increase fines for Workplace Safety & Insurance Act violations

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that will, among other things, quintuple the maximum fine against corporations for violating the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act, Ontario’s workers’ compensation act....more

6/9/2015 - Canada Workplace Injury

Cost of compliance with safety officer’s order could cause serious economic harm to company: Appeals Tribunal

A safety officer’s compliance order has been suspended where the cost of compliance would be so high that it could cause serious economic harm to the company. The company performed stevedoring and terminal handling of...more

6/3/2015 - Canada OHSA Ports Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Former Safety Manager Charged in U.S. Workplace Death

A former Safety Manager in California is among those charged with “willfully violating worker safety rules”, allegedly causing the death of a worker. The former Safety Manager and the Director of Plant Operations of...more

5/27/2015 - OSHA Safety Violations Workplace Safety

Worker awarded WSIB benefits after health and safety officer “grabbed him and threw him to the ground”

In an unusual case, a construction site superintendent has won entitlement to workers compensation benefits after persuading an appeals tribunal that he was assaulted by his employer’s health and safety officer and was not an...more

5/26/2015 - Appeals Canada Construction Industry OSHA Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Safety WSIB

Ontario MOL Releases 2015-16 Safety Inspection Blitz Schedule

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released its schedule of workplace inspection blitzes for the period from May 2015 to March 2016. The schedule gives employers advance notice of what MOL inspectors will look for when they...more

5/19/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Construction Industry Employer Liability Issues Heavy Equipment Mining Ministry of Labour OHSA Safety Inspections

Injured Worker’s Act was Not Foreseeable: OHSA Charges Against Employer Dismissed

Recently, an Ontario court dismissed Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against an employer where the injured worker’s unexpected and unauthorized act led to his injury. The worker used an overhead crane to rotate a...more

5/8/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Due Diligence Ministry of Labour Ontario OSHA Workplace Injury

Company owner convicted, fined under OHSA for providing false information, failing to co-operate with MOL inspector

A widely-reported fire at a Kingston construction site that required the evacuation of a crane operator by helicopter, has resulted in fines against the owner of the company that supplied the crane operator. To avoid the...more

5/5/2015 - Canada Construction Cranes Ministry of Labour OHSA

“Classic bullying” in company washroom, “which is the traditional hang out of bullies”, lands employee three-day suspension

A 6’2', 300-lb employee’s hostile, intimidating comment to a smaller co-worker in the company washroom was just cause for a three-day suspension, an arbitrator has decided. The evidence was that the suspended employee said,...more

4/30/2015 - Arbitration Canada Discipline Employer Liability Issues Workplace Bullying

Even “inspecting” equipment is “working on it”: employer guilty of OHSA charge where employees had not even started maintenance...

A maintenance electrician had “worked on” a stuck shipping door when he simply “inspected” it, even though he had not actually performed maintenance on it, a court has ruled. He was injured when the door fell on him. The...more

4/24/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Hazards

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