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Back-to-work postal legislation found in violation of Charter rights

Justice Firestone of the Ontario Superior Court recently decided that back–to–work legislation introduced in 2011 aimed at striking postal workers from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was an unjustified violation of the Union’s rights to freedom of association and expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, the judge retroactively declared the legislation of no force or effect.

 

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Supreme Court decision may protect defendants charged with OHSA offences from unreasonable delay

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada could have the effect of allowing corporations charged under the OHSA to seek remedies when a trial is unreasonably delayed in a considerably broader swath of cases.

 

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Saskatchewan government’s do-over: another version of essential services legislation proposed

Bill 183, The Saskatchewan Employment (Essential Services) Amendment Act, 2015, proposes a new Part VII in the Employment Act, entitled Essential Services. The Bill is currently in third reading.

 

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Slaw: Supreme Court confirms right to strike constitutionally protected

The Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan confirmed once and for all that the right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 

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Tribunal finds limits on mental health claims unconstitutional

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) has found that the limit on mental health claims under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“WSIA”) is unconstitutional.

 

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Quebec Superior Court invalidates certain provisions of the Pay Equity Act

A coalition of unions led by the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ) has won a court challenge against certain provisions of the 2009 reform of Quebec’s Pay Equity Act. The provisions in question require…

 

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Court of Appeal hints that right to strike may be protected by the Constitution

Last year, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench concluded that amendments to the Essential Services Act impeded workers from exercising their fundamental freedom of association, which includes the right to associate and organize, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to strike. Relying on a decision of the International Labour Organization, the Court found that the Act completely and utterly violated section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court gave the government one year to amend the legislation, but instead, it appealed the ruling. On April 26, 2013, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld amendments to the Essential Services Act and ruled that whether or not the Charter protects a right to strike is a matter that should be left to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide.

 

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Leave to Appeal Air Canada mandatory retirement case to Supreme Court of Canada dismissed

As predicted, there was an application for leave to appeal Air Canada’s mandatory retirement case to the Supreme Court of Canada; however, without providing any reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application and refused to hear the matter.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with an employer’s dress code, if a criminal conviction can be viewed as a disability and how guetto comments in the workplace can be construed as discriminatory.

 

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Employee privacy update: Supreme Court of Canada releases decision in R v Cole

The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-awaited decision in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53, on October 19. This criminal law case is notable for employers because it provides commentary on an employee’s right to privacy when using an employer-supplied laptop.

 

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Expect application for leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada in Air Canada mandatory retirement case

Since the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the mandatory retirement practice for Air Canada pilots, some developments have taken place. First, in the primary Vilven and Kelly case, there will likely be an application filed to obtain leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the constitutionality of section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

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Air Canada pilots’ mandatory retirement saga continues

As you may recall, Air Canada pilots launched human rights complaints on the ground of age discrimination because the company forced them to retire at age 60. In a history of decisions spanning back to 2007 challenging the Air Canada policy that requires pilots to retire at the age of 60, which section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act purports to allow, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recently made two more decisions. One involved…

 

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Why website accessibility matters

website accessibility

The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a legally blind woman’s 2010 legal victory over the federal government, ordering the government to make its websites accessible to blind persons. It may not be a case under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, but it does show us how website accessibility matters and has an impact on promoting accessibility for persons with disabilities.

 

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Slaw: ‘Gay-Straight Alliances’ in schools part of anti-bullying Bill

Through Standing Committee on Social Policy hearings, the government heard that students should be allowed to call student-led, single-issue groups specifically “Gay-Straight Alliances” or other similar names. This has angered some Christians, among them Evangelical and Catholic groups as well as their leaders, who feel that this Bill would force them to allow clubs with the name “Gay-Straight Alliance” in their schools. They feel accepting such a premise violates their beliefs, Charter rights and religious freedom.

 

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Does essential services legislation violate Charter rights?

After examining Canada’s international labour obligations, Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench, has confirmed that section 2(d) of the Charter (the freedom to associate) includes the right to strike. This is something the courts have historically refused to admit in their decisions.

 

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