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FTR Now

On October 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General). Justice Abella, writing for the majority, held that the inability of members who participated in a job-sharing program to “buy back” pension credits under the employer’s pension plan amounted to discrimination on the basis of sex, contrary to s. 15(1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In separate dissenting reasons, Justices Brown and Rowe on the one hand and Justice Côté on the other held that the appeal ought to have been dismissed, although for different reasons.

FTR Now

On October 14, 2020, the Department of Finance Canada released its latest backgrounder regarding the CEWS. The Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy backgrounder (Backgrounder) summarizes a number of new and recently announced changes to the CEWS, including the extension of the CEWS to June 2021.

FTR Now

Effective October 10, 2020, Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region are subject to the Rules for Areas in Stage 2 as modified by O. Reg. 572/20 (Modified Rules) as a result of the increase in COVID-19 cases in these areas. The Office of the Premier has advised that the Modified Rules will be in place for a minimum of 28 days and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

FTR Now

On October 9, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. It confirmed that where terminated employees would be entitled to a bonus or other incentive payments during the reasonable notice period, employers must use clear and unambiguous language to remove or limit their common law rights. The Supreme Court also distinguished between the obligation to provide reasonable notice of termination and a breach of the duty to exercise good faith in the manner of dismissal.

Raising the Bar

For the first time in nearly three decades, significant changes have been made to Ontario’s class proceedings regime. The amendments to the Class Proceedings Act, 1992 (Act)came into effect on October 1, 2020 and are significant in terms of their substance and scope, modifying many key provisions of the existing Act and adding nearly a dozen more.

FTR Now

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development recently published a new version of the Employment Standards in Ontario poster (Version 9.0). The poster contains information relating to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) with respect to minimum wage, hours and overtime, vacation time and pay, public holidays, leaves of absence and termination notice and…

School Board Update

On October 1, 2020, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) dismissed four appeals which alleged that Ministry of Labour (MOL) inspectors had refused to inspect and / or issue orders to the Ministry of Education (MOE) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to correct alleged deficiencies in the province-wide, MOE-issued, school safety guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. The appeals were filed by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, and L’Association des enseignantes en enseignants franco-ontariens (collectively, the Unions).

FTR Now

Ontario has again revised its Rules For Areas In Stage 3 (Rules) in light of the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in Ontario. The new rules include a province-wide mandatory masking requirement and additional restrictions for Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region Public Health Units (defined as the “Enhanced Measures Zone”). The changes came into force on October 3, 2020.