Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema


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When public perception and the law differ: man fired for heckling TV reporter at soccer game is rehired after arbitration process

Just because members of the public call for the firing of an employee for yelling sexual taunts at a TV reporter at a sports match, does not mean that the firing is legally justified, a recent case illustrates....more

11/5/2015 - Arbitration Code of Conduct Hiring & Firing Obscenity Off-Duty Employees Television Programming Television Shows Wrongful Termination

Doctor’s note prescribing “no overtime” was obtained due to labour tensions, not employee’s health: three-day suspension imposed

An employee who obtained a doctor’s note to justify his desire not to work overtime during a labour dispute, deserved a three-day suspension, an arbitrator has held. After the employer announced that it would be reducing...more

10/13/2015 - Arbitration Labor Disputes Medical Leave Wage and Hour Work Suspensions

Lawyer’s harassment investigation report was not solicitor-client or litigation privileged: union entitled to a copy, says...

The mere fact that a lawyer prepared an investigation report does not make it privileged, a labour arbitrator has held, granting the union’s request for a subpoena to obtain the report. The Durham Regional Police Association...more

10/6/2015 - Arbitration Harassment Investigations Privileged Documents Subpoenas Unions

“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

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

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

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

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

“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

No punches thrown, but employee properly dismissed for yelling, swearing and abusive conduct

An employee need not physically assault a co-worker in order to be dismissed for workplace violence, an arbitrator’s decision shows. The employer had 8 “Golden Rules” of workplace health, safety and environmental...more

3/24/2015 - Arbitration Employment Policies Hiring & Firing Termination Workplace Violence

Persistent mockery, intimidation of supervisor was “juvenile and unworthy of a 12 year old”, warranted 6-month suspension of...

An employee’s persistent mockery and intimidating conduct towards a supervisor warranted a 6-month suspension, an arbitrator has held. The employee’s conduct included the following...more

12/19/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Arbitration Canada Willful Misconduct

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

Disabled Employee Who Lied About Ability To Work Was Fired For Cause

An employee who lied to and misled her employer about her ability to perform her work as a reporter, was fired for just cause, and arbitrator has held. The employee severely injured her ankle while skydiving “on...more

5/22/2014 - Arbitration Canada Disability Hiring & Firing Termination

Federal Health And Safety Officer’s File Not Absolutely Privileged: Arbitrator

A federal Health and Safety Officer’s file was not absolutely privileged, and a labour arbitrator may order parts of it produced to parties in an arbitration, an arbitrator has decided....more

4/3/2014 - Arbitration Canada OHSA

Employer May Set “Terms Of Reference” For Health And Safety Committee, Arbitration Board Rules

Employers have the power to set terms of reference for the administration and operation of joint health and safety committees, as long as those terms are not different than those in the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety...more

11/26/2013 - Arbitration Compliance OSHA

“Half-Hearted And Insensitive” Response To Sexual Harassment Complaint, Flawed Investigation, Results In $25,000 Damage Award

A recent case illustrates the importance of conducting a careful, sensitive investigation of sexual harassment complaints. An employer’s “unpardonable” response to a sexual harassment complaint has resulted in an...more

11/12/2013 - Arbitration Arbitrators Investigations Sexual Harassment

“Cardinal Rule” Safety Violation Warranted 6-Month Suspension, Last-Chance Order

A millwright who violated his employer’s “Cardinal Rules” by committing a lock-out violation, deserved a six-month suspension and with a last-chance stipulation, an arbitrator has held. The company’s decision to dismiss the...more

11/7/2013 - Arbitration Last Chance Agreements

Arbitrator May Not Award Damages For Workplace Injury Where Worker Entitled To WSIB Benefits

An employee who was entitled to Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits for a workplace injury could not also obtain damages through arbitration, a labour arbitrator has decided. ...more

9/26/2013 - Arbitration Arbitration Awards Arbitrators Canada Employee Benefits Workplace Injury WSIB

“Smiley Face”, Friendly Tone Showed E-Mail Exchange Not Harassing: Arbitrator

A supervisor’s e-mails to an employee were not harassing, an arbitrator has held, noting the employee’s friendly tone – “great game Thurs night” – and use of the “smiley face” in his replies to the supervisor’s e-mails....more

8/20/2013 - Arbitration Canada Email Harassment Supervisors

“Simmering Ball Of Negativity” Dismissed After Threatening Statements

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a city “traffic operations” employee for threatening statements, a racist comment and one incident of dangerous and aggressive driving....more

7/18/2013 - Arbitration Public Employees Race Discrimination Termination Threat Management

Unremorseful Sexual Harasser Was Fired For Cause: Court Reproves Arbitrator

An unremorseful mail room clerk’s sexual harassment and grabbing of a contract worker was just cause for dismissal, the Ontario Divisional Court has held, overturning and criticizing an arbitrator’s decision....more

5/31/2013 - Arbitration Canada Hiring & Firing Sexual Harassment Termination

Safety Professional Was Unionized Position: Arbitrator

An employer has been unsuccessful in its bid to keep a newly-created “capital safety planner” position out of a union bargaining unit....more

5/9/2013 - Arbitration Canada Safety Precautions Unions

Bad-Faith Work Refusal Complaint To MOL Justified Discipline – Reinstatement Denied

The work refusal provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act should not be abused, an arbitrator has effectively held in overturning an employee’s dismissal but refusing reinstatement....more

4/30/2013 - Arbitration Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Reinstatement

Employer Violated Workplace Violence Law: Ontario Arbitrator

An Ontario arbitrator has found that an employer violated Bill 168 which introduced workplace violence provisions into Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act....more

2/19/2013 - Anti-Harassment Policies Arbitration Damages OHSA OLRB Posting Requirements Workplace Violence

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