Changes Are Coming to the Justice System in Ontario

On December 9, 2019, the Ontario government tabled Bill 161, Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, 2019, omnibus legislation that, if passed, would enact significant changes to the justice system through amendments to numerous statutes. Set out below is a brief summary of the notable changes to the Class Proceedings Act, 1992, the Courts of Justice…

WSIA “Employment Function” Mental Stress Exclusion Considered by Appellate Court

In Ontario Public Service Employees Union v. The Crown in Right of Ontario (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services), the Divisional Court recently overturned a 2017 Grievance Settlement Board (GSB) decision that found the grievor’s right to a workplace free of harassment had been violated but that it had no jurisdiction to award damages…

Appellate Court Considers Cannabis Impairment and Accommodation Issues

In International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1620 v. Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers’ Association Inc., the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador judicially reviewed an arbitration decision in which the key issues were measuring impairment from cannabis use and accommodation obligations. The Arbitrator found that there is currently no way to accurately measure such…

Appellate Court Finds Preferential Treatment of WSIB Claimants in Workplace Not Discriminatory

The Ontario Divisional Court recently released Carter v. FCA Canada Inc and Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, a decision which affirms that differential treatment between employees with work-related injuries and employees with non-work-related injuries is not discriminatory under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code). The applicant, who had a non-work-related injury, sought to return to…

Appellate Court Upholds Finding that Injured Worker who Returned to Full-Time Work Entitled to Receive 100% FEL Benefits to Age 65

In Hydro Ottawa v. Ontario (Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal), the Divisional Court has upheld a decision of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) that concluded an injured worker remained entitled to his 100% future economic loss (FEL) benefits until age 65 despite the fact he returned to full-time work in 2013….

Federal Court Finds Release Signed upon Termination Not a Bar to Unjust Dismissal Complaint

The Federal Court recently upheld a decision of an adjudicator made under the Canada Labour Code (Code) that an agreement and release signed by an employee whose employment with a bank was terminated did not act as a bar to her unjust dismissal application. The employee had received a lump sum payment and had released…

Appellate Court Finds Employer a Derivative Federal Undertaking, Overturns OLRB Decision

A recent decision of the Ontario Divisional Court, Ramkey v. Labourers International Union of North America et al, has provided employers performing work in support of federally regulated undertakings welcome clarity with respect to their status. The Court found that an employer (Ramkey) which provided construction technicians to work on telecommunications networks owned by telecommunications…

Court Holds Judicial Review Not Available in Broader Public Sector Compensation Restraint Challenge

The Divisional Court recently issued an important decision, Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa v. University of Ottawa, with respect to the ability of a union to challenge a university’s determination of compensation payable to its non-unionized employees on the basis that the determination is contrary to the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act,…

Appellate Court Issues Favourable Decision for Suncor on its Random Drug and Alcohol Policy

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…