Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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OLRB confirms 30-day hard-stop deadline for appealing Ontario MOL inspectors’ compliance orders

A recent Ontario Labour Relations Board decision confirms that the 30-day deadline for appealing Ministry of Labour health and safety inspectors’ compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act cannot not be...more

3/22/2017 - Appeals Canada Deadlines Ministry of Labour OHSA OLRB Safety Inspections Workplace Safety

Threats of violence, one day after “sensitivity training”, get worker fired for cause. He “may have a problem with women in the...

A worker who said, “If anything ever happened, like losing my job, I’d have no problem coming in here and shooting them”, a day after receiving sensitivity training relating to workplace violence, was dismissed for cause, an...more

3/14/2017 - Arbitration Canada Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Workplace Safety Workplace Violence

“Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion” dealing with OHSA obligations disallowed by court in civil lawsuit

A “Safety Engineering Letter of Opinion”, styled as an “expert report” and covering Occupational Health and Safety Act obligations, was struck and its author was prohibited from testifying at the trial of a civil lawsuit....more

3/7/2017 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Negligence OHSA Witness Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“Repeated exposure to supervisor constituted a dangerous situation”, employee arguing

The Federal Court has breathed new life into a government employee’s claim that “repeated exposure to her supervisor constituted a dangerous situation” that justified her work refusal under the Canada Labour Code. The case...more

2/22/2017 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Harassment Supervisors

Industrial safety specialist properly fired for lying on security application

An Ontario judge has decided that Atomic Energy of Canada Limited had just cause to dismiss an industrial safety specialist who misrepresented his employment history in a security application. ...more

2/10/2017 - Canada Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Misleading Impressions Unfair Dismissal

Church defeats lawsuit by volunteer after stepladder accident. Duelling OHS experts’ testimony considered

A volunteer has lost his lawsuit against a church after he fell off a stepladder he was using at the church. The volunteer was a parishioner at the church who agreed to help with painting. He claimed that the church’s...more

2/2/2017 - Canada Churches Expert Testimony Negligence OHSA Religious Institutions Testimony Volunteers Workplace Injury

Court refuses small-town mayor’s OHSA-based request for injunction prohibiting resident from harassing her

An Ontario judge has rebuffed a small-town mayor’s attempt to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act‘s violence and harassment provisions to obtain a court order stopping a town resident from harassing her....more

1/31/2017 - Canada Harassment Injunctions Mayors OHSA Workplace Violence

Psychological harassment arbitration adjourned because employee awarded worker’s compensation benefits

An employee who received worker’s compensation benefits for “psychological injury due to harassment” has had her union harassment grievance, against her employer and supervisor, adjourned....more

1/26/2017 - Adjournment Arbitration Canada Filing Grievances Harassment Unions Workers Compensation Awards

Work refusal due to second-hand smoke was not properly investigated: arbitrator

A correctional officer with sinusitis and sensitivity to second-hand smoke was entitled to have her work refusal investigated by prison management, an arbitrator has decided. Although the prison was a non-smoking...more

1/19/2017 - Arbitration Arbitrators Canada Corrections Declaratory Relief OHSA Prison Prison Guards Prisoners Public Employees Smoking Bans

Christmas party incident of sexual harassment leads to dismissal, then reinstatement, of firefighter

A male firefighter who had been “drinking heavily” has won reinstatement to his job after being fired for sexually harassing a female coworker at the fire department’s Christmas party. The Christmas party was held at a...more

1/18/2017 - Anti-Harassment Policies Arbitration Arbitrators Canada Demotions Employer Liability Issues Firemen Hiring & Firing Holiday Parties Holidays Rape Reinstatement Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Unions Work Suspensions

Subway operators fighting decision to staff trains with only one operator, claiming unsafe

Three Toronto subway operators engaged in a work refusal after the Toronto Transit Commission decided to staff subway trains with only one operator (instead of two). Their union is now fighting a Ministry of Labour...more

1/10/2017 - Canada Collective Agreements Grievance Process Ministry of Labour OHSA OLRB Railways Trains Transportation Industry Unions

Labour Board dismisses safety complaint filed 2.5 years after the fact

A worker who filed a safety-reprisal complaint 2.5 years after the events complained about has had his complaint dismissed for delay. The worker’s complaint related to events that took place in June of 2013.   He...more

12/21/2016 - Canada Dismissals Ontario Labour Relations Board Workplace Safety

Having failed to obtain and review proper operating manual for machine, employer and supervisor convicted under OHSA

An employer and supervisor who failed to obtain an operator’s manual for a rip saw, and therefore failed to follow it, have been found guilty of offences under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charges...more

12/16/2016 - Canada Employer Liability Issues OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Arbitrator finds employer violated OHSA workplace-violence obligations

A labour arbitrator has found that a mental health organization violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act when it failed to take certain workplace-violence precautions. The organization provided services to...more

12/7/2016 - Arbitration Canada Case Management Employer Liability Issues Mental Health OHSA Sexual Assault Workplace Safety

Employee who forged 16 sick notes, then tried to blame her manager, was fired for cause

A Canada Revenue Agency employee who forged signatures on 16 sick notes was fired for cause, a federal adjudicator has decided. The employee had a problem with absenteeism and started missing work without calling in. The...more

12/2/2016 - Canada Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Hiring & Firing Sick Leave Termination

GHS (WHMIS 2015) online courses now available

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has released two online courses on WHMIS 2015, which implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)....more

12/1/2016 - Canada Globally Harmonized System Hazardous Substances Labeling OHSA Toxic Chemicals Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

Regulation still required compliance with older ANSI standard, not updated version: Tribunal

Where the government had not updated a regulation to require compliance with a newer version of an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard, the law still required compliance with the old version, a federal...more

11/28/2016 - ANSI Canada Construction Industry OHSA Workplace Safety

“You’re kind of close to those wires”: excavator operator guilty of OHSA charges after hitting power line

An excavator operator has been found guilty of two Occupational Health and Safety Act charges after hitting a power line. The operator, who was working on a road construction project, was planning to load the excavator...more

11/22/2016 - Canada Construction Industry Construction Project OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

Work-refusing employee did not have right to delay investigation for 2 hours until her preferred union representative could attend

A correctional officer did not have the right to delay her employer’s investigation of her work refusal for two hours while her preferred union representative attended to “personal” matters. The correctional officer’s...more

11/16/2016 - Canada OLRB Union Representatives Unions

City bylaw prohibiting hookah smoking in licensed businesses for health and safety reasons is valid: Court

The City of Toronto Council had the legal authority to make a by-law that prohibited hookah smoking in licensed establishments, an Ontario judge has decided, given the city’s valid health and safety concerns....more

11/11/2016 - Bylaws Canada OHSA Ontario Public Health Smoking Bans Tobacco Tobacco Regulations

Three days in jail for owner of roofing business after trying to deceive MOL inspector

The owner of a roofing business has landed in jail for three days after trying to trick a Ministry of Labour inspector following a workplace accident. Three workers were working on a residential roofing project but the...more

11/9/2016 - Canada Criminal Prosecution Interference Claims Ministry of Labour Obstruction of Justice OHSA Safety Inspections Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

After being told that she should just “quit” if she felt unsafe, dismissed employee awarded $15,000 in damages

A charity has been ordered to pay a dismissed employee $15,000 in damages after dismissing her shortly after she had raised safety issues, in violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The charity ran retail...more

11/3/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Canada Charitable Organizations Damages Demotions Hiring & Firing OHSA OLRB Pain and Suffering Retaliation Termination Workplace Safety

Appeal of MOL compliance order adjourned while related OHSA prosecution ongoing, despite City’s objection

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has adjourned an appeal of a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance order against the City of Sudbury while a related prosecution under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is ongoing,...more

10/28/2016 - Adjournment Appeals Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board

Federal employee has effective veto over appointment of “impartial” workplace violence investigator, as long as veto not exercised...

A federal employee’s objection to the appointment of a workplace violence investigator was valid, the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada has decided, because the investigator was not “seen by” the employee as...more

10/27/2016 - Canada Employment Tribunals Federal Employees Harassment OHSA Workplace Violence

OLRB dismisses union’s “fishing expedition” in safety case: documents requested from MOL and employer were not arguably relevant

The Ministry of Labour and the employer were not required to hand over certain documents requested by the union in a safety dispute, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. The issue in dispute was whether the...more

10/12/2016 - Canada Document Productions Ministry of Labour OLRB Unions Workplace Safety

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