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Pick Your Forum Wisely: The Supreme Court Affirms that Human Rights Tribunals Are Not Entitled to Review Human Rights Decisions of Other Administrative Decision Makers

Posted On: January, 21 2015
In its 2006 decision Tranchemontagne v Ontario (Director, Disability Support Program), the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that all administrative tribunals, and not just human rights tribunals, are entitled and required to apply human legislation,… more »
 

Is “Character of Employment” Evolving as a Factor in Fixing Notice Periods? Part 2 of 2

Posted On: January, 21 2015
The Emerging “Egalitarian” Approach In some recent decisions from outside Ontario, trial judges have again been questioning the emphasis that has often been placed on character of employment as a factor in fixing notice periods. Interestingly, the… more »
 

Is “Character of Employment” Evolving as a Factor in Fixing Notice Periods? Part 1 of 2

Posted On: January, 21 2015
Some recent cases and articles have proposed that an employee’s “character of employment,” which is usually understood to mean an employee’s rank within an employer’s organization, could become a less relevant factor in assessing notice periods. The… more »
 

Alcoholism and Disability Accommodation in the Workplace

Posted On: January, 21 2015
The recent Ontario human rights case of Huffman v. Mitchell Plastics, 2011 HRTO 1745, raises several important issues related to accommodating disabilities in the workplace, and serves as a good reminder to both employers and employees about their… more »
 

Religious Accommodation: Hertz Terminates Muslim Employees in Dispute over Prayer Breaks

Posted On: January, 21 2015
Hertz car rental company in the U.S. recently came under scrutiny when it terminated 26 Muslim employees in a dispute over prayer breaks. Hertz and the employees’ union had previously agreed that all Muslim employees would be permitted to pray in a… more »
 

What Does It Take to Quit Your Job?

Posted On: January, 21 2015
In a recent British Columbia decision, the question before the court was whether an employee who stormed out of a meeting saying “I’m out of here!” was expressing an intention to quit, or an intention to go on vacation. What was at stake for the… more »
 

Court Approves of Class Action by Scotiabank Employees for Unpaid Overtime

Posted On: January, 21 2015
In the recent decision Fulawka v. Bank of Nova Scotia, the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified a class action permitting Scotiabank employees to advance their unpaid overtime claims as a group, rather than on an… more »
 

Keep Workplace Emails and Texts Professional

Posted On: January, 21 2015
We’ve all heard an embarrassing story where a person hit “send” before the email or text was finished, sent a sensitive email to the entire group when it was intended for only one recipient, or stated something that he or she instantly regretted in an… more »
 

Providing Dismissed Employees with a Reference

Posted On: January, 21 2015
In a decision released earlier this month, the B.C. Supreme Court awarded a former loan manager at a Vancouver credit union $220,000 in wrongful dismissal damages. The manager, Mr. Szczypiorkowski, was terminated for cause and without notice or pay in… more »
 

Employer Ordered to Pay Mental Distress Damages after Terminating Employee with Cancer

Posted On: January, 21 2015
It is unusual for courts to award punitive or mental distress damages to terminated employees. Generally speaking, courts are reluctant to find that employers have an obligation upon termination beyond reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. A… more »
 

Starbucks Dwarf Case: Safety Concerns and the Duty to Accommodate

Posted On: January, 21 2015
It has been reported (read the Toronto Star’s story here), that Starbucks has recently dismissed one of its employees on the basis that her step stool accommodation was a danger to others. The human rights issue in this case is that the employee has a… more »
 

Knowing Your Employment Contract: Are Termination Provisions Subject to Mitigation?

Posted On: January, 21 2015
A recent endorsement from Justice Whitaker of the Superior Court of Justice underscores the importance of clarifying the terms of an employment contract and its termination provisions prior to accepting an employment contract. Peter Bowes was laid off… more »
 

Is Employee Data Saved on an Employer-Owned Handheld Device or Computer Confidential?

Posted On: January, 21 2015
This blog considers the implications that a recent criminal law decision may have for employment law. It is not often that criminal law and employment law intersect, but a recent evidentiary issue decided by the Court of Appeal for Ontario could have… more »
 

Off Duty Conduct – High School Secretary Fired for Appearing in Adult Film

Posted On: January, 21 2015
It was recently reported that a Quebec school board had fired a high school secretary when a student at the school discovered that she had appeared in several adult films. On April 8, 2011, the National Post reported that the secretary had 9 years of… more »
 

Employer Ordered to Pay Damages and Lost Wages for Sending Inappropriate Text Messages

Posted On: January, 21 2015
Lisa McIntosh was awarded $12,500 in general damages, as well as lost wages, after being forced to leave her job due to sexual harassment by her boss, Zbigniew Augustynowicz. more »
 

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