We’re always interested in issues that are relevant to Unions and their members, and this week, a post on the Broadbent Blog by Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Institute, titled, ‘The Conservatives Propose Family Policy for a Bygone Age’ caught our attention. The post takes a critical look at the new federal family policies and tax scheme, arguing that these are most likely to benefit traditional families with stay at home spouses, ignoring the needs of those most in need of assistance, as well as calls for an affordable national child care program.
The onus is on the employer to establish that it discharged its duty to accommodate a disabled employee to the point of undue hardship. Even though the primary responsibility rests with the employer, all three parties involved, namely the employer, the union and the employee, play an important role with respect to an employer’s obligation to accommodate an employee.
Some workers experience significant emotional impairments like low-self-esteem, sadness, anger or anxiety following an accident or injury, which may impact their ability to work. These workers may qualify for further benefits from Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (‘WSIB’). If a worker is experiencing psychological distress following an accident or injury, it is important that they discuss these issues promptly with their treating physician and their lawyer or advocate so that they can be properly considered by the WSIB in determining their benefits.
In Cape Breton (Regional Municipality) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 933, 2014 NSSC 97, a recent decision from the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Justice Gogan confirmed the reasonableness of Arbitrator MacKeigan’s decision to conditionally reinstate an employee who had been discharged for excessive absenteeism but who was unaware of the severity of her medical issues. This case is a great outcome for human rights in general but more specifically, for employees with mental health issues.
The Federal Court has recently upheld a decision of an Adjudicator that the Federal Government must establish an alternation system or establish systems and processes to facilitate ‘alternation’ opportunities for employees who are about to be laid off. This decision is a significant victory for public servants, and ensures that departments need to help public servants protect themselves against the impact of government layoffs.
Many employees are initially surprised when approached by their employer about allegations made against them by co-workers. The nature of these allegations can vary widely in seriousness, but any employee whose conduct is being investigated would be wise to take every complaint seriously. The process however, is often stressful and unfamiliar. Here are 5 essential ‘must-do’s’ for employees responding to workplace allegations.
With the capabilities of today’s smartphones and wearable technology, it is easier than ever for anyone to record events and conversations – even without the knowledge of those around them. Inevitably, this technology makes its way around the bargaining table to capture bargaining negotiations. Can these recordings be relied upon later as evidence?
When it comes to a legal case, the media can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You might want to use the media as leverage to shame a bullying employer. Or, on the flip side, your grievor might be a wronged individual who doesn’t come across quite as you would like. When the media sniffs something interesting in a case, they can be hard to put off. So what are the rules around when the media can attend an arbitration?
Setting the ground rules is an often overlooked part of the negotiation process. This applies to both the relationship with the other side and within your own negotiation team. In future blogs we will consider other rules to be defined in the pre-bargaining phase.
In the past, referral deadlines have not been set in stone, and parties have allowed grievances to be referred beyond the deadlines set out in the Collective Agreement. Given the decisions of the Ontario Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal in Greater Essex County District School Board v. United Association of Journeymen, Local 552, Unions should be mindful of the grievance and grievance referral timelines, as extensions may not be given as easily as in the past.