News & Analysis as of

“Don’t worry about me, I carry weapons”: employee’s violent statements warranted serious discipline but not dismissal

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

Ontario Bill to extend protection of OHSA to unpaid trainees

A new Ontario Bill will give unpaid trainees the protection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The OHSA currently gives that protection to paid workers only. The current definition of “worker” under the OHSA...more

Doing Business in Canada: Employment Law

EMPLOYMENT LAW - THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP - There are many different types of relationships which businesses can have with the people and corporations who perform services for the business, including but not...more

Recent Ontario Decision Casts Doubt on Statutory Severance Pay Threshold

In Ontario, employees are entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). In addition, employees with five years of service or more...more

Yet Another Reminder on the Importance of Careful Drafting of Termination Clauses…

As if employers needed one, we now have yet another decision invalidating a termination provision for failure to comply with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”): Miller v. A.B.M. Canada Inc., 2014 ONSC 4062...more

“Disgruntled and aggressive clients” posed safety threat under OHSA

An employee who was fired one day after complaining to the Ministry of Labour that she felt threatened by “disgruntled and aggressive clients” was entitled to damages for the retaliatory discharge, the Ontario Labour...more

Alberta Court of Appeal Considers the Duty to Accommodate Probationary Employees

In reasons released on May 6, 2014, the Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the Telecommunications Workers Union in respect of an unsuccessful judicial review application to question a labour arbitrator award. The...more

Commuting to the United States as a Permanent Resident: ‘Alien Commuters’ or ‘Green Card Commuters’

Generally, a foreign national who is a permanent resident of the United States must reside permanently in the United States or else risk losing permanent resident status. However, persons who have been granted U.S. permanent...more

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

How Businesses Can Plan for Foreign Hires in Light of H-1B Cap

Given that the H-1B visa cap was, once again, met quickly, many U.S. employers are scrambling to figure out how to hire and retain the foreign national employees that they need. As we recently reported, the U.S. Citizenship...more

Benefits For Employees Over Age 65

As of December 2006, the Ontario Human Rights Code was amended to abolish mandatory retirement. However, the provincial government intentionally did not make corresponding revisions to the Employment Standards Act or the...more

“Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice To Deceive.”

Employer avoids liability for harassing texts sent by rogue employee - In an interesting decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that an employer is not liable for discriminatory and harassing texts...more

New Mass Termination Claim Certified in Ontario

On January 2, 2014, Justice Perell certified a class action alleging that, among other things, a group of over 500 putative class members had been wrongfully dismissed by their former (now insolvent ) employer. Justice...more

July 1, 2014 Deadline To Provide Ontario’s New Safety Awareness Program To Employees (Your Current Program Is Probably Not Good...

The clock is ticking. All Ontario employers must provide their workers and supervisors with “basic occupational health and safety awareness training” by July 1st, or they will be in violation of a new regulation under the...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Regulators

Off Duty Conduct - Fountain v. British Columbia College of Teachers, 2013 BCSC 773 (British Columbia Supreme Court) - Fountain, a teacher, fired a shot from a rifle over the heads of his sons in the aftermath of...more

Employee Relief Causes Employer Grief: The ability to perform employment-related duties is an integral part of an employment...

Recently, two employers who provided notice of termination, and at the same time relieved employees of their duties, were held instead to have at that time terminated those employees, which lead to financial consequences for...more

Are Your Company’s Termination Provisions Enforceable?

Two Ontario Superior Court decisions once again highlight the importance of precise and explicit wording in employment contracts, particularly in respect of termination clauses. The court concluded in both decisions that the...more

Fired Employee Failed To Prove That Depression, Harassment Drove Him To Fight: Court

An employee who was fired for fighting after being harassed, did not prove that his harassment or depression caused him to fight. Therefore, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario was wrong to find that his firing was...more

When Does an Employee Lose Entitlement to Notice of Termination and Termination Pay?

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, an employee who has been guilty of wilful misconduct, disobedience or wilful neglect of duty that is not trivial and has not been condoned by the employer is not entitled to notice of...more

Guide to Doing Business in Canada - June 2013 Edition

1. INTRODUCTION - This Guide to Doing Business in Canada was initially developed to assist our clients. We are pleased that it has also been very helpful for many others, including senior managers of non-Canadian...more

Mere Smell Of Marijuana Was Not Enough: Employee Was Entitled To Refuse Drug Test, Says Court

An employee was entitled to refuse to submit to a reasonable-suspicion drug test where a supervisor smelled marijuana in the employee’s truck but had no other evidence of drug use or impairment, a Nova Scotia judge has held....more

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

Departing Investment Advisors: An Update Since the Supreme Court's Decision in RBC v. Merrill Lynch

The Departure of an Investment Advisor - The departure of an investment advisor (IA) raises a number of serious and often conflicting considerations. For the IA, a departure could mean uncertainty in terms of earning a...more

Receipt Of Pornographic Material Was Not Just Cause For Dismissal: Appeal Court

In the 2001 case of McKinley v. B.C. Tel, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a contextual approach is required in order to determine whether there is just cause for termination of employment. A recent wrongful dismissal...more

Angry Confrontation Of Employee By A Manager Could Be Safety Issue: OLRB

In what appears to be a departure from a growing line of cases, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has permitted an employee to advance her claim that the employer violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act when it fired...more

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