FTR Views

The legalization of recreational cannabis, which came into effect on October 17, 2018, has raised many questions for employers about cannabis use in the workplace, as well as potential coverage of cannabis under benefit plans. In this video, Mariana Kamenetsky and Kathryn Meehan talk about coverage for medical cannabis under Ontario’s workers’ compensation system.

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has issued Policy 17-01-10 Cannabis for Medical Purposes (Policy) which will come into effect on March 1, 2019. The WSIB has previously covered the cost of medical cannabis in some circumstances, primarily for the relief of pain in accordance with section 33 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance…

Case In Point

The legal saga on the issue of random drug and alcohol testing of employees continues. In Suncor Energy Inc v Unifor Local 707A, the Alberta Court of Appeal sent the issue of whether Suncor’s random drug and alcohol testing policy violated the privacy rights of its unionized workers back to a new arbitration hearing before…

Case In Point

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by a motion judge which allowed the plaintiffs’ wrongful dismissal actions to be decided by way of summary judgment motion. In Singh v. Concept Plastics Limited, the two plaintiffs were long-term former employees of Concept Plastics. Both brought motions to resolve their actions by way of summary…

Federal Post

Dear Friends, We are delighted to bring you this year-end edition of the Federal Post, our newsletter designed exclusively for federally regulated employers. In this issue, we cover a range of interesting developments in the areas of federal labour, employment standards, unjust dismissal law and health and safety. Ian Campbell, a lawyer in our Waterloo…

FTR Now

Effective May 20, 2015, amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA“) compliance obligations will come into force. These include new poster requirements and new powers for employment standards officers to order employer “self-audits.” In this FTR Now, we will review the new rules, and the impact that they will have on employers in Ontario….

Case In Point

The recent decision in Luney v. Day & Ross Inc. is good news for employers. The Plaintiff worked for an interprovincial trucking company subject to the Canada Labour Code (“Code”). The Defendant terminated the Plaintiff’s employment without cause and offered the Plaintiff a severance package that it asserted was consistent with the termination clause in…

Case In Point

The Divisional Court has upheld a decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in which the Tribunal ordered significant damages against the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and also ordered reinstatement of an employee after an almost decade-long absence from the workplace. The Court agreed with the applicant’s submission that “the goal of the remedial provisions of the Code ought not to…

News

In a recent decision, Kotecha v. Affinia, the Court of Appeal for Ontario reduced the 24.5 months’ notice that had been awarded to a 70 year old plaintiff, holding that there were no exceptional circumstances to justify the award. While the Court found that it was unlikely the employee would obtain similar employment, the award…

News

In Dziecielski v. Lighting Dimensions, the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently upheld an employer’s decision to terminate a long-service employee with an otherwise clean disciplinary record for driving a company vehicle while intoxicated. While driving, the employee had been involved in a car accident and was criminally charged. The lower court had examined the…

Case In Point

In some circumstances, yes. In the recent decision of Dziecielski v. Lighting Dimensions Inc., the employee drove a company vehicle while intoxicated. He was returning to the workplace from a customer visit and a lunch where he drank four beers, when he was involved in a car accident which destroyed the vehicle and left him…

News

In a recent decision, the Ontario Divisional Court found that the discharge of an employee (grievor) who had sexually harassed a co-worker was an appropriate penalty. An arbitrator’s decision reinstating the grievor had relied on irrelevant factors and therefore fell outside the range of possible defensible outcomes. The irrelevant factors considered by the arbitrator included…

Case In Point

In Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada v. CEP, Loc. 3011, the Ontario Divisional Court concluded it was not. The grievor, a mail room clerk with six years seniority, tried to kiss a female cleaner. When she pushed him away, he grabbed her buttocks. The female worker reported the incident and stated that…

Case In Point

A recent decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan, which granted an injured worker $4.5 million in punitive damages, has garnered considerable media attention. The plaintiff, Mr. Branco, was a Canadian citizen. He sued his employer (Kumtor, owned by Saskatchewan-based Cameco) and insurers AIG and Zurich Life in relation to benefits arising from…

News

In a sweeping remedial decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered reinstatement of a non-union employee who was terminated from her employment almost a decade earlier, as well as other remedies such as payment of back wages, as adjusted. In so ordering, the Tribunal explicitly stated that where an employer fails in its duty…

Case In Point

In the recent decision of Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, a non-union employee was reinstated to employment with back pay, despite having been away from the workplace for nearly a decade. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario explicitly rejected the employer’s argument that it would be unfair to order reinstatement in light of the…

Case In Point

Apparently not, according to Arbitrator Slotnick’s recent award in Ottawa Hospital v CUPE. This award concluded that a hospital’s dress code policy was unenforceable as it required employees to cover up large tattoos and prohibited “visible, excessive body piercings.” The hospital argued that the dress code was minimally intrusive and its goal was to improve…

News

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently found that an applicant breached the confidentiality provisions of her human rights settlement when she posted information about the settlement on Facebook. When the respondent learned of the breach, it refused to pay the monies owing under the settlement, and the applicant brought an application before the Tribunal…

Case In Point

In Tremblay v. 1168531 Ontario Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario issued its first decision in which it held an applicant accountable for breaching a confidentiality clause in a settlement arising from the resolution of a human rights application brought against her employer. The employee had signed an agreement to maintain the confidentiality of…

News

Ontario employers must find room on their bulletin boards by October 1, 2012 to display a new Ministry of Labour poster entitled “Health and Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here.” The poster was developed in response to a recommendation of the Expert Advisory Panel to review Ontario’s occupational health and safety system and summarizes key…

FTR Now

In our FTR Now of April 24, 2009, “Amendments Made to Temporary Help Agencies”, we discussed important new amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA, 2000”) outlined in Bill 139, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies), 2008 (“Bill 139”). Today, Bill 139 comes into force. As anticipated, the government of Ontario has…

FTR Now

New Rules of Civil Procedure

Effective January 1, 2010, the Rules of Civil Procedure governing all civil litigation matters brought in the Superior Court of Ontario will come into force. This FTR Now highlights some of the key changes that will impact the manner in which employment-related actions are litigated, including wrongful dismissal claims, constructive dismissal claims, and claims for…