News & Analysis as of

“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

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

“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

On the Radar Screen: the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014

As we reported in a previous blog post that can be found here, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 makes some significant changes to several Ontario statutes.  The legislation received Royal Assent on...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

Saskatchewan Prime Contractor Regulations Coming into Force January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, The Occupational Health and Safety (Prime Contractor) Regulations will come into force in Saskatchewan (the Prime Contractor Regulations). If you are doing business in Saskatchewan, you should...more

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

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

“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

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

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

Owner/developer was not responsible for civil damages sustained in a workplace incident 20 years ago

Over 20 years after a workplace incident that seriously injured a worker, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has dismissed the worker’s civil action against a developer. The worker had been working on a rooftop of a...more

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

Ontario Government Responds to Early Results of Mine Safety Review

In December 2013, the province asked Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer to undertake a review of the occupational health and safety issues related to the mining sector, focusing first on underground mines. The review...more

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

No OHSA Charges Laid in Death of Alberta Youth Home Worker

A 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after he stabbed to death a youth worker at a supported independent living facility in Alberta in 2012. At the time of her death, the worker was working alone...more

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

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

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

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