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Alberta Court of Appeal Upholds Conviction in Calf-Roping Machine Case

In its decision Alberta v. XI Technologies Inc., the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of XI Technologies in relation to the death of an employee who was operating a faulty calf-roping machine at an employer hosted-event, concluding that the employer failed to do all that was reasonably practicable to avoid the foreseeable risks…

Mandatory Retirement Upheld for Suppression Fire Fighters: HRTO Clarifies Accommodation Obligations

In its recent decision, Corrigan v. Mississauga (City), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) considered whether a municipal employer had a positive obligation to consider requests for individual exceptions to the mandatory retirement policy of age 60 for suppression fire fighters and to work with those fire fighters to develop a medical fitness testing…

The Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Pension Assignments must be “Clear and Unambiguous”

In a marriage breakdown situation where family assets are being valued and/or divided, a member’s workplace pension entitlements are often the most significant asset. To settle the property issues, a member and his or her spouse may agree that the member will assign an interest in the member’s benefit to the spouse. Unfortunately, it is…

ECHO Publishes an Article by Michelle Alton and Thomas Agnew

An article by Hicks Morley’s Michelle Alton and Thomas Agnew was published in the Summer 2013 edition of ECHO, an Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association Newsletter. In the article entitled, “Drug and alcohol testing: How far can an employer go?”, Michelle and Thomas discuss the implications of the decision in Irving Pulp & Paper.  They advise the…

2013 Summer Edition

FOCUS ON WATERLOO Hicks Morley in Waterloo: nearly a quarter century…and counting LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS An update on Bill 168 – what we’ve seen to date Workplace safety – two small words that require an employer’s undivided attention PROFILE Police and beyond Download PDF

OCA Affirms Termination Clause in Employment Contract Does Not Violate ESA

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has upheld a motion judge’s finding that a termination provision in an employment contract was not an attempt to contract out of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). In Dimson v. KTI Kanatek Technologies Inc., the plaintiff had been terminated and in accordance with his employment contract, he was…

WSIB Announces 2014 Premium Rates

On July 12, 2013, the WSIB announced that its premium rates for Schedule 1 employers will remain at current levels for 2014. The maximum insurable earnings ceiling for 2014 will be $84,100, an increase of 1.1% from $83,200 in 2013.

The Supreme Court of Canada Strikes Down Random Alcohol Testing Policy

On June 14, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd. In this much anticipated decision, the Supreme Court clarified the law regarding random alcohol and drug testing in safety-sensitive, unionized workplaces, finding that universal random testing will…

Court Upholds Discharge for Sexual Harassment

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…

Employment Standards Blitzes Announced for Ontario Workplaces

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced that it will conduct province-wide blitzes under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“Act”) as a proactive enforcement measure to ensure compliance with the Act. From May 2013 to August 2013, the blitzes will focus on vulnerable workers in certain sectors including manufacturing and distribution, construction and recreation. From October…