How Could Phoenix Payroll Land the Feds in Hot Water? Let Us Count the Ways

Article
August 3, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

Since February, federal public service employees have been suffering a huge range of payroll problems as a result of the Federal Government switching to the new Phoenix payroll system. These payroll aberrations have put many employees in desperate situations. Unfortunately, these problems are neither new nor unique. Previous case law on these issues indicates that the Federal Government could face serious repercussions as a result of the Phoenix mess.

Big Data, Big Rights Violations

Article
April 27, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

Employers are starting to rely on software to make decisions about who to hire and how to run their workplaces. Early adopters of this type of software are realizing both the benefits and downfalls of using these products for workplace management. Employee data can be analyzed to evaluate a prospective employee’s ‘fit’ in the organization. The installation of monitoring programs can help identify security breaches. This saves companies time and money. However, there are also downfalls to relying too heavily on software in the workplace.

No Shorts? No Jeans? No Legitimate Reason For a Policy on Work Attire!

Article
January 29, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

In June of 2015, a B.C. arbitrator ruled that a workplace policy restricting employees from wearing shorts and jeans was an unreasonable restriction on their personal rights. This decision, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1767 v BC Assessment Authority, reaffirms the well-established law on rules relating to personal appearance.

Objectionable at Work: Management Liability for Failure to Investigate Anti-Gay Statements

Article
December 3, 2015
Read Time: 3 minutes

All workers are entitled to equal rights and opportunities in the workplace without discrimination or harassment relating to sexual orientation. The Courts and arbitrators have clearly recognized the historical disadvantage often experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people, including within the workplace. As recent decisions illustrate, these challenges and disadvantages unfortunately continue within the workplace.

Discrimination Against Mothers – An Update

Article
September 25, 2015
Read Time: 6 minutes

Discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace has long been a minefield for employers. Given this is a perennial problem, and lawyers are regularly retained to advise and represent in these cases, we have carried out a review of decisions rendered in the past year and summarized them in this article. In some cases, the employer’s breach of a woman’s human rights is obvious; other cases are less clear. They are all quite interesting.

Like Mike: The NHL’s Kings v. Mike Richards Saga Raises Familiar Labour Law Issues

Article
September 1, 2015
Read Time: 5 minutes

During the 2015 off-season, the Los Angeles Kings took steps to terminate Mike Richards’ 12-year, $69 million contract. The union that represents the players, the NHL Players Association (NHLPA), has grieved this decision, and an arbitration is likely in the early fall. Despite involving one of the NHL’s highest paid players, this case highlights labour law issues that are common to many unionized workplaces.

Supreme Court Protects Meaningful Collective Bargaining Process for RCMP

Article
April 29, 2015
Read Time: 6 minutes

In the case of Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada, by a 6-1 majority, held that the s. 2(d) guarantee of freedom of association, as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, protects a meaningful process of collective bargaining that provides employees with a degree of choice and independence sufficient to enable them to determine and pursue their collective interests. The Court held that the current labour relations regime denies RCMP members that choice by imposing a scheme that does not permit them to identify and advance their workplace concerns free from management’s influence.

Questions from a Scandal – Can a Unionized Employee File a Complaint Against an Employer?

Article
November 19, 2014
Read Time: 4 minutes

Jian Ghomeshi’s termination from the CBC has touched on a variety of subject areas, including the power of celebrity; our societal dialogue surrounding allegations of sexual assault; and the legal implications of filing a lawsuit against an employer for wrongful dismissal. Setting aside the more contentious aspects of Mr. Ghomeshi’s termination, one of the most prominent legal issues is the fact that he has commenced a civil lawsuit against his employer, despite being a unionized employee.

Think Twice Before Closing: Supreme Court of Canada Addresses Employer Rights During The Certification Process

Article
July 9, 2014
Read Time: 5 minutes

The recent Supreme Court of Canada case, United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 503 v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., on appeal from the Court of Appeal for Quebec, deals with the limit of an employer’s rights during the certification process. This decision may give employers cause to think twice before deciding to close their doors in order to avoid unionization in Canada.