Occupational Health and Safety Act Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

“Zero tolerance” policy on drugs in workplace upheld by human rights tribunal where employee did not have “marijuana card”

An employee who smoked marijuana on the job without legal and medical authorization was not discriminated against when dismissed under his employer’s “zero tolerance” policy, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has...more

“Ill-conceived, poorly-executed” job search, “Alberta sojourn” breached Ontario employee’s duty to mitigate damages in...

Even though an employee “won” his safety-retaliation case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after his employer failed to file a Response, the employee’s damages were reduced because his job search was shoddy....more

Labour arbitrator agrees to hear harassment-retaliation grievance under OHSA

Although a temporary employee had no termination protection under the collective agreement, he did have the right to advance a reprisal / retaliation claim under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, a labour arbitrator has...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

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

“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

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

“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

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

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

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

Bad-Faith Work Refusal Complaint To MOL Justified Discipline – Reinstatement Denied

The work refusal provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act should not be abused, an arbitrator has effectively held in overturning an employee’s dismissal but refusing reinstatement....more

Safety Violations Get 37-Year Employee Fired For Cause

We don’t often hear of 37-year employees being fired for just cause. An arbitrator has recently upheld the dismissal of a long-service unionized employee for safety violations....more

HR Professionals: The Key To Smooth Corporate Acquisitions

Although human resources professionals are not always recognized for their efforts during a corporate acquisition, the work which they do behind the scenes can often make the difference between an acquisition succeeding or...more

Doing Business in Canada: Employment & Labour

The relationship between an employer and an employee in Canada is heavily regulated. All jurisdictions in Canada – both federal and provincial - have enacted legislation (statutes and regulations) governing various aspects of...more

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