The American Bar Association’s International Labor & Employment Law Committee Newsletter Publishes an Article by Jennifer Del Vecchio

An article authored by Hicks Morley’s Jennifer Del Vecchio was published in the March 2014 edition of the American Bar Association’s International Labor & Employment Law Committee Newsletter. The article entitled, “Supreme Court of Canada Authorizes Québec Class Action Regarding Reduction of Retiree Benefits” discusses the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Vivendi Canada Inc. v….

Class Action on Reduction of Retiree Benefits to Proceed

A proposed class action brought in Québec by retirees against their former employer was recently authorized by the Supreme Court of Canada. The claim advanced in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello related to unilateral changes made by the employer in 2009 to the retirees’ supplemental health insurance plan. The Court found that the four criteria…

SCC authorizes Québec class action regarding reduction of retiree benefits

The Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) recently released a unanimous decision authorizing a class action on behalf of retirees against their former employer, relating to announced changes to their supplemental health insurance plan (“Plan”). The case, Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello, was decided under the specific wording of the Québec class proceedings statute. In 2009,…

BCCA Decision Affirms Clear Language Needed to Reserve Right to Change Retiree Benefits

A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal, Lacey v. Weyerhaeuser, considered an employer’s right to unilaterally change post-retirement benefits. Although the retiree benefits at issue in this case had been voluntarily instituted, it was found that the employer had represented that the retiree benefits would be maintained on and after retirement, and…

GM had Contractual Right to Reduce Retiree Benefits of Executives, But Not Other Salaried Employees

In a recent class action motion, O’Neill v. General Motors of Canada, the Ontario Superior Court concluded that General Motors of Canada (“GM”) breached its contract with certain non-executive salaried employees when it reduced their post-retirement benefits after they had retired. The Court found that GM had not clearly and unambiguously reserved its right to…

GM Benefits Plan Language Did Not Allow Reduction After Non-Executives’ Retirement; GM Plans Appeal

Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has found that General Motors of Canada (“GMCL”) breached its contract with certain retired non-unionized salaried employees when it reduced their post-retirement health care and life insurance benefits. On this motion for partial summary judgment, the Court held that, in the reservation of rights (“ROR”) clause…

Arbitrator Considers Employer’s Ability to Collectively Bargain Changes to Retiree Benefits

In TRW Canada Ltd. and Thompson Products Employees’ Assn. (Retiree Benefits) (Re), collectively bargained changes to vested retiree benefits were found to have been made without lawful authority. The changes had been proposed by the employees’ association (“Association”), following a particularly hard round of collective bargaining, and after the employer threatened to close one of…