Supreme Court of Canada
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.
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.
Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Honda v. Keays, dismissed employees have increasingly sought bad faith damages in severance negotiations and wrongful dismissal actions. A key issue in these claims is whether the employer’s conduct was sufficiently egregious to justify these damages. The courts are clear that not every perceived offence or instance of misconduct will give rise to a finding of bad faith.
In AMEC Americas Limited v. MacWilliams, 2012 NBCA 46, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal held that an employer’s defence that an employee failed to mitigate his damages by refusing to accept its settlement offers had no merit. As leave to appeal the decision was recently refused by the Supreme Court of Canada, the current answer to our question (at least in New Brunswick) is “no”.
It has been a year since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Board) v. Figliola (“Figliola”). In Figliola, the Supreme Court stated that human rights complaints should not be relitigated before a human rights tribunal when they have already been litigated before another tribunal, such as the workers’ compensation board (“WSIB”), or a labour arbitration tribunal.
Last week, Alison J. Bird wrote for the First Reference Talks blog about the R. v. Cole case, involving a high school teacher who had kept photos of a naked, underage student on his work computer. In the several days, there have been a flurry of news stories calling attention to privacy boundaries employees can expect regarding work-licensed technology.
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.
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.
On April 25, 2012, the Federal government announced that it will appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal decision that struck down Canada’s prostitution laws as unconstitutional, specifically the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting “keeping or using a common bawdy house” and the “living off the avails of prostitution” provision…
A wrongful dismissal lawsuit can be a potential nightmare for companies no matter what size. Lawsuits carry with them complex claims that are often convoluted and difficult to understand for the non-legal specialist. This blog post will offer a brief overview of the parameters of some of the damages which can be claimed within the context of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
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.
Under employment standards legislation, birth mothers receive a total of 52 weeks of leave when they combine maternity (17 weeks) and parental leave (35 weeks), and are entitled to receive a total of 50 weeks of EI benefits (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental) for that period. However, the same benefits are not available to adoptive mothers, who only receive 37 weeks of parental leave and 35 weeks of EI benefits. Now a new movement to challenge the law to provide equal EI benefits to adoptive parents is gaining momentum…
A recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal suggests that Honda damages, previously known as Wallace damages, are becoming less of a threat for employers in wrongful dismissal suits.