Federal Court of Appeal Decision on Canada Labour Code Unjust Dismissal

Blog Post
March 6, 2015
Read Time: 2 minutes

A recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, has potentially changed the game for federally-regulated employers. The decision affects thousands of employees working in federally regulated industries, as it means that employers may dismiss non-union employees without cause, so long as reasonable notice is provided, and provided that dismissal is not unjust. It reverses the decisions of many Code adjudicators that federal non-unionized employees whose employment is regulated by the Code could only be dismissed for just cause.

Terminated Employee Wins Fight for Disclosure of Independent Investigator’s File

Blog Post
January 22, 2015
Read Time: 3 minutes

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice released an interesting decision this month involving a party’s right to production of an independent investigator’s report and file where the investigator was also a lawyer. In Howard v. London (City), the plaintiff, Ms. Howard, was dismissed by the City of London, allegedly for cause, after the City received the results of an independent investigation conducted by a lawyer. The Court found that the investigation report and file were not protected by solicitor-client privilege and the City was ordered to provide a copy to Ms. Howard.

2014 Employment Law Year in Review

Blog Post
December 22, 2014
Read Time: 4 minutes

The holiday season is upon us, and it will soon be the New Year. Reflecting back on 2014, it has been an interesting year for employment law in Ontario and across Canada. We have seen many changes to the employment law landscape, including recent legislative changes and court decisions that will have far reaching consequences for employer-employee relationships in Canada going forward. Here are some key developments that everyone should be aware of.

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

Blog Post
November 21, 2014
Read Time: 2 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 legal issues is the fact that he has commenced a civil lawsuit against his employer, despite being a unionized employee.

Scary Bosses: A Fall Favourite from our Online Magazine!

Blog Post
November 3, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

We enjoy finding interesting material for our Workplace Matters online magazine, and one of our seasonal favourites this fall is a recent Halloween inspired article by Peter Economy of Inc., ’10 Signs of a Really Scary Boss’. The article’s premise is that bad bosses are the number one cause of employees quitting their jobs, and lists 10 types of ‘scary bosses’ that will haunt you in your sleep.

Divisional Court Upholds Reinstatement and $400,000 in Damages in Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Blog Post
October 23, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

In 2012 and 2013, the Human Rights Tribunal made two decisions ordering the reinstatement, along with over $400,000 in back pay and damages, to an employee despite the employee having been away from the workplace for almost a decade in the decision of Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. This decision was remarkable for the rarely awarded reinstatement and the unusually high damage award.

Egg Freezing as an Employee Benefit?

Blog Post
October 16, 2014
Read Time: 3 minutes

Apple recently announced that, like Facebook, it would be offering up to $20,000 for female employees to freeze their eggs, and the announcement has been garnering significant attention from supporters and detractors alike. Many commentators have touted this as a huge boon for equality in the workplace, allowing women to focus on their careers as men can, without the fear that if they put off having babies until they actually want to, they may no longer be able to. Others have voiced concerns that it may be discriminatory for men, or that the availability of this coverage will put pressure on women to put off getting pregnant in order to prove to their employer that they are truly invested in their careers and their companies.

Off-duty and Online: Harassment on Social Media

Blog Post
October 10, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and the Human Rights Code employers have an obligation to ensure that employees are free from discrimination, harassment and violence in the workplace. It is clear that these obligations require employers to monitor and regulate workers’ behaviour while physically at work, but what about workers’ interactions online?

Know your Limits – Time Limits, That Is

Blog Post
September 11, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

What many people do not know, is that there are time limits that determine by what date legal proceedings or complaints must be initiated – these are known as limitation periods. If these periods are not followed, you will be out of time and your claim will no longer be enforceable. Therefore, if you have been terminated and intend to start a claim against your former employer, it is important for you to know what time limits apply to you.