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"Pay Me, Or Else…": California Court Rules Employee's Pre-Litigation Qui Tam Threat is Extortionate

A California appellate court recently issued a warning to employees who try to negotiate settlements with their employers by making veiled threats to report an employer's real or imagined criminal activity. In Stenehjem v....more

Company fined $25,000 for operating electrical contracting business without license under Electricity Act after apprentice injured

An electrical contractor has been convicted and fined for carrying on an electrical contracting business without being licensed under the Ontario Electricity Act. A young apprentice with the company was seriously...more

Legal Updates for Government Entities Covering March and April 2014

The Gallaghers sued TUSD and a TUSD school employee, Michael Corum, alleging that Corum sexually abused and/or exploited their developmentally challenged daughter at a TUSD school. The Gallaghers claimed that TUSD was...more

Supervisor Jailed 45 Days For Occupational Health And Safety Act Violation

An Ontario supervisor has been jailed for 45 days after a worker fell off a roof and suffered permanent paralysis. Are courts growing increasingly comfortable jailing supervisors for serious safety violations?...more

MOL Inpector Had Not “Pounced” After Putting Employer At Ease About Possible OHSA Charges: Court

An inspector’s alleged statement that, “our branch is different up here. I know in southern Ontario they fine, fine, fine. But we don’t do that here” was not a promise that he wouldn’t lay charges under the Occupational...more

Supervisor Jailed Under OHSA After Lying To MOL Inspector, Police

In what is still a relatively rare occurrence, an Ontario supervisor has been sent to jail for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker died. Lying to the police and Ministry of Labour inspector did...more

When Santa Is Naughty, Does He Give Himself a Lump of Coal?

If so, then Santa should be giving himself a nice chunk of West Virginia’s finest to burn in his stove this Christmas. According the Associated Press, recently, at a mall in Hingham, Massachusetts, Santa was barred from the...more

What’s The Risk Of Not Foreseeing Safety? In Today’s Industry, One Must Endeavour To Pinpoint Workplace Hazards And Then Strive To...

It’s commonplace to say that “careful planning” is an obvious and vital element of any construction project, but it’s only the first foreseeable step in prevention. As all involved in 21st century construction are (or should...more

In The Netherlands And France: Can You Get Away With Insulting Your Boss On Social Media?

In France, judges consider that the answer to this question depends on the parameters of the employee’s profile on Facebook. In a decision of April 10, 2013, the French Supreme Court ruled that when insulting comments...more

Record $1.050 Million Fine Under Ontario OHSA

An Ontario judge has imposed a $1,050,000 fine against Vale Canada Limited, the highest fine ever imposed under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act. It appears that the previous record fine, handed down in 2010,...more

$750K Fine For “Extreme” Criminal Negligence: “More Serious” Than OHSA Offences, Says Appeal Court In Metron Construction Fatality...

A $200,000.00 fine was “manifestly unfit”, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled, in raising Metron Construction’s fine to $750,000 for criminal negligence after four workers died on Christmas Eve, 2009. The $200,000 fine...more

Court Decision Emphasizes the Importance of a Preventive System in Discharging Environmental and Health and Safety Obligations

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Justice convicted Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc. and 1367229 Ontario Inc. (the Companies), and their directors, Shay Ben-Moshe and Valery Belahov (the Directors), of multiple...more

Court of Appeal Increases Corporate Fine in Fatal Accident

In December 2009, four workers fell to their deaths while repairing balconies at an apartment complex in north Toronto. The accident was caused by the site supervisor’s negligence (he died in the accident). The construction...more

Part-Owner Of Company Convicted, Fined Personally Under OHSA

Company owners are not immune from potential convictions and fines under workplace safety laws....more

Ship’s Navigator Sentenced To Four Years For Criminal Negligence

A B.C. ship’s navigator has been sentenced to four years after he was convicted of criminal negligence causing death for dereliction of duty leading to his ship colliding with an island....more

Sexual Misconduct “During” Law Enforcement Activities Does Not “Arise Out of” Law Enforcement Activities

In a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the court held that jail employees were not entitled to coverage for sexual molestation of an inmate under the law enforcement coverage...more

Case Update: Alberta’s Highest Court Hears Appeal In Calf-Roping Fatality Case – Decision Reserved

In December 2012, we posted a blog outlining the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in R v. Technologies Inc. 2012 ABQB 549 in a fatal accident case involving the use of a “calf roping” machine at a Stampede party event...more

Worker Guilty Of Obstructing MOL Inspector By Refusing To Answer Questions

A worker who refused to answer a Ministry of Labour inspector’s questions during an accident investigation has been found guilty of obstructing the inspector....more

Education Update, No. 2 - April 2013: Keeping Your Students Safe From Child Abductions

A loud, beeping Amber Alert and accompanying visual banner filled the homes and screens of area television viewers on the evening of January 14, 2013, announcing the abduction of a five-year-old student from a Philadelphia...more

Escalating Penalties: Alberta OHS Convictions For 2012 – What Can Employers Expect For The Year Ahead?

A person who contravenes Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations or Code is liable, for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months and, for a...more

Bank Liability to Non-Customers in a Ponzi Scheme

The morning news reports flashes a report that your customer was actually a Ponzi scheme and defrauded numerous people. Of course, this is terrible news for the innocent victims, but, you ask yourself, could my bank be...more

Addressing Workplace Hazards: Law To Be Clarified By Alberta’s Highest Court

The Alberta Court of Appeal has agreed to hear an employer’s appeal of a judgment of the Court of Queen’s Bench which overturned acquittals, by a Provincial Court judge, of two charges under the Alberta Occupational Health...more

Instruct+

Society of Solicitor Advocates announce launch of Instruct+ App...more

Criminal Guilty Plea from Supervisor Not Present, Not Aware of Hazardous Activity

A supervisor at a Quebec automobile dealership has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge arising out of a workplace accident at which he was not present. He was not even aware of the employees’ hazardous practice that caused...more

Directors’ Liability for Safety: Not just Small-Company Directors are at Risk in Ontario

In an unusual development, a director of a medium-sized company has been personally found guilty and fined under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company’s Internet site states that its field personnel include a...more

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