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
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
The Federal Court has held that a manager was not a “competent person” to conduct a workplace harassment investigation under the Canada Labour Code because the employee who filed the complaint had not agreed that the manager...more
A construction company that tried to blame a worker’s fall on his untied boots, has been found guilty of all 5 charges against it under Saskatchewan’s The Occupational Health and Safety Act. The 18-year-old worker, who had...more
Employers often struggle with the question of who is a “supervisor” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. The answer to that question is obviously important because supervisors have legal duties under the...more
Employers often post new procedures in the workplace without providing formal training. A recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board suggests that for some work procedures, posting is not enough; rather, training...more
Employers who have bona fide reasons for dismissing an employee should avoid using “not the right fit”. They should also show up at Ontario Labour Relations Board hearings. An employer that dismissed an employee hours after a...more
A supervisor with an asbestos abatement company, and his employer, have pleaded guilty to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and were fined, after workers were exposed to asbestos dust on a job site....more
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that where an employer had complied with a Ministry of Labour inspector’s compliance orders under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, to the satisfaction of the MOL, the...more
The debate continues as to whether the Ontario Labour Relations Board has jurisdiction to hear harassment-reprisal complaints under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but another Vice-Chair of the OLRB has said “yes”....more
Rarely are senior corporate officials jailed for health and safety offences in Canada. But recently, two company directors of an importer and retailer of furniture and accessories, were jailed for 25 days after a worker died...more
An Illinois business owner has been taken into custody after his business failed to correct serious trenching hazards and pay Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalties. The case illustrates the personal risk to...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
An employer’s assertion that “everyone just knew” the safety rules, was not a defence to charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, an Ontario court has held. The employer’s “casual, oral practice” – without a...more
In sentencing an employer to a $115,000.00 fine in the case of a tragic workplace death, an Ontario Justice of the Peace has discussed the range of fines against employers convicted of charges under the Occupational Health...more
A health and safety consultant has lost his case against his employer, a health and safety association, in which he alleged that he had been retaliated against for raising safety issues....more
An employer’s corrective action taken after an accident did not entitle it to a reduced fine under the Occupational Health and Safety Act because the action should have been taken – and was legally-required – before the...more
In a decision that affirms a broad definition of “workplace” under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that hydro trucks, including their aerial lift buckets, were...more