Adrian Miedema

Adrian Miedema

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Mere posting of standard operating procedure was not enough: OLRB refuses to suspend MOL inspector’s training order

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

2/26/2015 - Employer Liability Issues OHSA Safety Training Training Workplace Safety

Having an active joint health and safety committee can help employers defend against OHSA charges, court decision suggests

An Ontario court has dismissed charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after two incidents which the joint health and safety committee did not identify as posing a “high priority” safety concern....more

2/17/2015 - OHSA Ontario Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

“If you think your salary is low . . .”: employer’s presentation was “offensive, distasteful and inappropriate as a motivational...

An adjudicator has criticized an employer’s motivational presentation as “offensive, distasteful and inappropriate as a motivational tool”, but found that it was not illegal. The presentation was delivered by a Regional...more

2/12/2015 - Canada CBAs OHSA Unions

OHSA charges dismissed: not appropriate for MOL to charge under “general duty” clause where specific regulation addressed safety...

In dismissing Occupational Health and Safety Act charges against an employer arising out of a fatality, an Ontario court has held that it is not appropriate for the Ministry of Labour to charge under the “general duty clause”...more

2/10/2015 - Canada Ministry of Labour OHSA Wrongful Death

“Not the right fit”? Fired hours after MOL inspector’s visit, employee awarded $19,000 in damages

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

2/3/2015 - Canada Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation

Supervisor fined after workers exposed to asbestos dust

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

1/29/2015 - Asbestos Canada Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions OHSA Workplace Hazards

Employer Who Voluntarily Complied with MOL Inspector’s Orders Was Not Entitled to Suspension of Orders Pending Appeal

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

1/27/2015 - Appeals Canada Employer Liability Issues Ministry of Labour OHSA

WSIB Age Cut-off for Loss-of-Earnings Benefits not Discriminatory Against Older Workers: Court

Ontario’s Divisional Court has decided that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act’s age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits for older workers did not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms....more

1/22/2015 - Canada Disability Benefits OHSA Workplace Safety

Where MOL Inspector Withdraws OHSA Compliance Order, OLRB Cannot Reinstate While Appeal Argued

Although an employer may appeal a Ministry of Labour inspector’s rescission (withdrawal) of a compliance order that he or she wrote to an employer under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations...more

1/20/2015 - Canada Compliance Order Ministry of Labour OHSA

OLRB Agrees to Hear Another Harassment Case

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

1/16/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Harassment OHSA OLRB Ontario

Two company directors jailed 25 days after worker dies, no safety training provided

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

1/14/2015 - C-Suite Executives Canada Criminal Prosecution Directors Employer Liability Issues Furniture Industry OHSA Retailers Workplace Injury Wrongful Death

Dismissal of safety-reprisal complaint set aside where employee, mistaken about start time, failed to attend hearing

An employer is facing a resurrected Ontario Labour Relations Board safety-reprisal hearing after the case was dismissed when the employee failed to attend the hearing. The OLRB dismissed the complaint as abandoned...more

12/3/2014 - Canada OHSA Ontario Labour Relations Board

“Zero tolerance”, automatic suspension approach to safety violations criticized, written warning substituted

Employers are increasingly taking a “zero tolerance” approach in which a minimum level of discipline – whether a suspension or dismissal – is imposed for certain serious safety violations. In a recent case, an arbitrator...more

12/1/2014 - Canada OHSA Workplace Hazards Workplace Safety

New Ontario Safety Blitz Targets Large Number of Industrial Workplaces

The Ontario Ministry of Labour will conduct a safety blitz of industrial workplaces from November 3rd to December 14th, 2014. Although the MOL’s bulletin regarding this blitz does not say it, employers should ensure...more

11/10/2014 - Canada Compliance OHSA

Court considers safety, fatigue of replacement workers in granting picketing injunction

A British Columbia judge has considered an employer’s concerns for the safety of replacement workers, in granting an injunction against picketing workers. The employer and Unifor were in a labour dispute. Unifor was...more

10/24/2014 - Canada Employee Rights Injunctions OHSA Safety Precautions

“An employee does not necessarily get one free sexual harassment before he loses his job”, says arbitrator in upholding dismissal...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of a unionized employee for one incident of sexual harassment and threats on Facebook. After an incident at work in which the grievor was displeased with “X”, a female co-worker,...more

10/22/2014 - Canada Harassment OHSA Sexual Harassment Workplace Bullying

Ebola Preparedness for Employers: U.S. OSHA Launches Ebola Web Page

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an Ebola Web Page for employers providing information on Ebola and how to protect workers. OSHA states that workers, including...more

10/17/2014 - Canada Ebola OHSA Safety Precautions

Worker who spread rumour that MOL inspector “paid off” by company, and that company was closing, was fired for cause

A worker who contacted a Ministry of Labour inspector with safety concerns but didn’t get the answer he wanted, and then spread rumours that the MOL inspector had been “paid off” by the company, was dismissed for cause, an...more

10/10/2014 - Bribery Canada OHSA Safety Precautions

Employee Dismissed for Demanding Bonus and Saying that Employer “Could Fire Him”, Not For Raising Safety Concerns, Court Decides

An employee’s demand for a bonus and assertion that his employment relationship would not be “fruitful” and that his employer could fire him, was the reason for his dismissal, a court has decided. The dismissal was not...more

10/1/2014 - Canada Hiring & Firing OHSA Retaliation Safety Precautions Termination

“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 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

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

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