Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals Taking Their Lead From Courts?

July 18, 2016
Blog Post

There used to be a debate about levels of damages in human rights cases. Often the unsuccessful party would challenge the decision in a human rights case in court in the hopes that damages awards would be reduced. Parties are going to have to rethink that strategy in light of the ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Strudwick v. Applied Consumer and Clinical Evaluations.

In Camera Meetings – Closing the Door Doesn’t Make It Private

July 6, 2016
Blog Post

In camera (or closed-door) meetings exclude the public from participating and, by their very nature, enjoy an aspect of privacy that open meetings do not. However, in certain circumstances, the courts may require that parties give evidence of what transpires in these meetings – in particular where they relate to administrative bodies acting as employers, rather than carrying out public functions.

What Injured Workers Need to Know About WSIB

June 30, 2016
Blog Post

If you sustained a workplace injury and are in receipt of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) benefits for the first time, there are essential pieces of information that you should be familiar with.

Changing Workplaces and Updated Laws – Coming Soon!

June 22, 2016
Blog Post

Workplaces are forever changing. That’s why Ontario is currently undergoing the Changing Workplaces Review, with the aim of amending, if necessary, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 to account for these changing times. According to the ‘Terms of Reference’ posted on the Ministry of Labour’s website, ‘[t]he objective of this review is to improve security and opportunity for those made vulnerable by the structural economic pressures and changes being experienced by Ontarians in 2015.’

The Allure of the Corporate Credit Card – How Should Employers Respond to Misuse?

June 15, 2016
Blog Post

An employee of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (‘CP’) was terminated for cause in March 2015 for charging personal expenses to his corporate credit card and failing to repay them within a reasonable timeframe. On May 20, 2016 an arbitrator appointed under Part III of the Canada Labour Code agreed with CP that a dismissal was justified in the circumstances. The result in Mark Reynolds v. Canadian Pacific Railway Company is not surprising. Nonetheless, the arbitrator’s analysis and reasoning are interesting.

Dude, Where’s Your Justification? Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

June 1, 2016
Blog Post

In Canada, drug and alcohol testing in the workplace has long been treated as a significant invasion of employee privacy – which is not surprising when you consider the elements of bodily intrusion and public embarrassment associated with it. In keeping with this longstanding tradition, the arbitrator in United Mine Workers of America, Local 1656 v. Tech Coal Limited struck down a mining company’s random drug and alcohol testing program.

Suspending Board Members: Lessons From George v. The B.C. Wildlife Federation

May 18, 2016
Blog Post

Many unions are incorporated under federal or provincial not-for-profit corporate legislation. That legislation contains rules that unions need to navigate, particularly when dealing with a board member who has behaved inappropriately. The British Columbia Supreme Court recently dealt with some of these issues in George v. The B.C. Wildlife Federation, which sheds light on the rights of a board of directors to deal with a director who has acted inappropriately in the course of his or her duties.