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Author Archive - Employer Advisor, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

McCarthy Tétrault through their Employer Advisor blogs offers their perspectives on the latest legal developments applicable to the workplace. It provides their insights on legislative and regulatory developments, as well as new case law, while providing practical tips for employers and their human resources professionals when managing the workforce. McCarthy Tétrault is a Canadian law firm that delivers integrated business law, litigation services, tax law, real property law, labour and employment law nationally and globally. Several of their blog posts will be republished with permission on First Reference Talks. Read more

Alberta Court of Appeal rules on termination clause

The case of Holm in this article is a good reminder of the importance of drafting clear and unambiguous termination clauses and the consequences of failing to do so.

 

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Recent amendments to Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code bring big changes to Alberta workplaces

This blog provides a summary of some of the key changes to the Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code relating to joint work site health and safety committees, health and safety representatives, harassment and violence.

 

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New employer health tax in British Columbia

BC’s government has announced that the revenues from Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, which are to be eliminated effective January 1, 2020, will largely be replaced with an “employer health tax.” The employer health tax will be effective January 1, 2019.

 

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BC Court of Appeal clarifies employee’s duty to mitigate and necessary deductions for “avoided,” and “avoidable”, loss

A recent BC Court of Appeal decision is a good reminder and summary of the principles underlying an employee’s duty to mitigate following a wrongful dismissal, and confirms that post-termination income in excess of supplementary income that an employee has earned while employed is properly deducted from a wrongful dismissal damages award.

 

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BCCA issues guidance on the role of unions in the employee accommodation request process

Employers may be permitted to deal with an employee directly in relation to a request for accommodation without involving the union, as the matter falls within the employer’s right to direct and manage the workforce.

 

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Changes to the public holiday pay calculation in Ontario

Ontario is assessing its public holiday system under Part X of the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Until this assessment is complete, public holiday pay will revert back to its pre-Bill 148 calculation.

 

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BC Government introduces new leave of absence protection under Employment Standards Act

The changes introduced by the BC government eliminate the conflict for provincially-regulated employees between the availability of 18 months of employment insurance benefits and only 12 months of job protection.

 

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The Supreme Court of Canada interprets workplace discrimination broadly

In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the scope of section 13(1) of BC’s Human Rights Code, which concerns discrimination “regarding employment or any term or condition of employment.”

 

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BCHRT considers the duty to inquire as to the presence of a mental disability

Is it the employer’s duty to inquire whether an employee has a mental disability? The BCHRT recently considered a case that addresses this. Generally, before an employer can be required to accommodate an employee’s mental disability, the employer must know, or ought reasonably to know, that the employee has such a disability in the first […]

 

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BC Supreme Court awards aggravated damages in the absence of medical evidence

The decisions in Ensign and Karmel demonstrate the risk of liability for failing to be honest and forthright in the manner of termination of an employee’s employment. Employers would be well-advised to be conservative in assessing whether they have cause, assessing reasonable notice periods, carrying out the termination and avoiding bad faith and/or misrepresentation.

 

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Parliamentary Secretary releases final report and recommendations on re-establishment of B.C. Human Rights Commission

The B.C. government launched a public engagement process on September 20, 2017, led by Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Multiculturalism Ravi Kahlon, to gather stories, feedback, and information from the public to guide the re-establishment of the Commission. The engagement process, which included nearly 100 public meetings and consideration of nearly 70 formal written submissions, ended on November 17, 2017.

 

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Employee’s secret recording of meetings with management contributes to finding of just cause for dismissal

A recent decision from the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench supports that an employee’s use of his work phone to secretly record meetings with management may support an employer’s decision to terminate for just cause.

 

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British Columbia Supreme Court rules on reasonable notice when an employee is terminated before their first day of work

In Buchanan v. Introjunction Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1002, the Court considered a case where the employer terminated the plaintiff’s employment before he commenced work. The Court rejected employer’s argument that the probation period clause applied to limit its liability to provide notice of termination of employment.

 

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Ontario Bill 148 passed: A timeline of implementation

Ontario Bill 148 passed on November 22, 2017, enacting new employment and labour laws for the province. Employers will require assistance on when schedules in Bill 148 are being implemented.

 

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Bill 148 passes (but not before a few last-minute changes were made)

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, the Government of Ontario passed Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Introduced on June 1, 2017 as a response to the Final Report of the Changing Workplaces Review, Bill 148 makes significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, Labour Relations Act, 1995 and most recently, the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

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