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Labour & Employment


Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

Marijuana use and workplace terminations

Regardless of the anticipated impact of marijuana legalization, employers must update their policies and regulate the use of marijuana in the workplace much the same way they have regulated alcohol. Save for medical reasons or addiction, marijuana legislation does not give employees the right to use marijuana at the workplace and remains unprotected by the Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 (“the Code”). ... [read more]

Friday, June 02, 2017 @ 8:39 AM

PROCESS AND PROCEDURE - Arbitration - Jurisdiction

Appeal by ExxonMobil and Hebron from the dismissal of Hebron’s application for judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision, ordering the reinstatement of employees Hebron had dismissed. Hebron represented all the employers on ExxonMobil’s worksite. ExxonMobil had denied the employees access to the site on the basis of their alleged violation of the substance abuse policy promulgated by their contractor-employer. ExxonMobil was not a party to the site-wide collective agreement entered into between Hebron and the unions whose members worked at the site. The arbitrator found that the employees had not violated site policies prohibiting alcohol possession, use and consumption on site by consuming alcohol off site and returning to their accommodations with a blood alcohol level exceeding the prohibited level. ExxonMobil took the position it was not bound by the arbitrator’s decision because it was not a party to the collective agreement. Hebron had raised the jurisdictional issue with the arbitrator, who rejected the challenge to his jurisdiction. The arbitrator found that it made no sense to allow ExxonMobil, as owner, to circumvent the entire labour relations process by granting it the power to veto all actions of the parties to the collective agreement. He stated that ExxonMobil was bound by the outcome of his award, and that the employees were to be granted access to the work site to perform their employment duties. On judicial review, the judge declined to set aside the arbitrator’s award. The judge found that the Special Project Order pertaining to ExxonMobil’s project made it clear that ExxonMobil might be affected by outcomes properly found within the parameters of the collective agreement, that the arbitrator’s decision did not force ExxonMobil to violate its obligations under occupational health and safety legislation, and that ExxonMobil was not denied procedural fairness by the arbitrator assuming jurisdiction over the matter. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 8:43 AM

UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES - By employer - Anti-union animus - Discrimination - Interference with bargaining right

Applications by the union and by the employer, FedEx, for judicial review of decision of the Industrial Relations Board finding that the employer had violated the Canada Labour Code in deciding to close the Surrey Service Centre and return to using local third-party cartage agents shortly after the Union had been certified to represent the dock associates working at the Centre, and of the remedy ordered. The employer had opened the Surrey Service Centre in 2013. In 2014, the Board certified the union, making it the first unionization of employees at any FedEx location in Canada. Before the commencement of collective bargaining, the employer informed the union that it had decided to close the Surrey Service Centre and to return to the third-party cartage model. The union filed a complaint alleging the employer breached its duty to bargain in good faith and unilaterally changed employees’ terms and conditions of employment during a freeze period. The Board found the employer did not engage in such conduct, but found that the employer’s closure announcement interfered with the formation and administration of the union and its representation of the dock associates. The Board found prima facie evidence of the Employer’s anti-union philosophy, which rendered unlawful the employer’s otherwise lawful right to close its business. The Board determined that the employer had discriminated against the dock associates because they participated in the formation of a trade union. The Board indicated that it would not compel an employer to continue operating a truly uneconomic undertaking. It ordered the employer to ensure that every dock associate would be offered employment by the third-party cartage agent on similar terms and conditions and that the union was recognized as the representative for the dock associates if the employees of the third-party cartage agent were not represented by a different trade union. ... [read more]

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 4:08 PM

WSIB spending cuts come at expense of workers’ health, report says Antony Singleton

Ontario’s injured workers have seen “substantial, harmful cuts to health care benefits” since 2010, said a newly released report from a Toronto legal clinic. ... [read more]

Monday, May 29, 2017 @ 7:32 AM

Legitimate work refusal or labour relations complaint?

The right to refuse unsafe work is ingrained in the internal responsibility system, or the premise that issues related to health and safety are best addressed by the workplace parties.  Refusing unsafe work is also one of the few exceptions to the work now, grieve later principle. It can be difficult to assess when a worker is refusing work under the Act, as opposed to protesting working conditions. Recent cases help to identify when a work refusal will be deemed a labour relations complaint in disguise. ... [read more]

Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 1:39 PM

Changing Workplaces Review may spur sweeping labour law changes in Ontario Inna Koldorf

The Changing Workplaces Review final report, which took two years to complete, has the potential to make sweeping changes to labour and employment legislation in Ontario. The much-anticipated report was released May 23 with 173 recommendations on how to improve the current workplace law in the province. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:49 AM

Updated: Ontario Court of Appeal clarifies employment law on mitigation of damages Eileen Gillese

The Ontario Court of Appeal has answered some important questions about the mitigation of damages in a judgment affirming a 20-month constructive dismissal award to a longtime McDonald’s manager who was “set up to fail” by her employer. ... [read more]

Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 9:52 AM

Cannabis dispensary workers unionize, but legal questions remain

Employees at the Toronto-based Canna Clinic marijuana dispensary have formed a union, raising questions of how employees working for a company involved in what is currently an illegal business can unionize. ... [read more]

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 2:43 PM

Dentons plans combination with Peruvian law firm

Dentons has announced it hopes to form a combination with Gallo Barrios Pickmann in Peru, one of the strongest and fastest-growing economies in Latin America. ... [read more]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

The Lawyer's Daily is hiring!

Digital Reporter ... [read more]