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Court of Appeal

If the punishment fits: The Court of Appeal upholds Ruston v. Keddco Mfg. (2001) Ltd.

Our legal system is designed to implement a stringent appeals process. When an unsuccessful party truly believes that the Court ‘got it wrong,’ either because they wrongly assessed the facts or wrongly applied the law (or in some cases both), they have the power to appeal to a higher court who can review the ruling and issue their own determination, as was the case with Ruston v. Keddco Mfg.


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Court of Appeal says that compliance with an inspector’s order should not mean a smaller fine


The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, has overturned a lower Court finding found that an employer should be “rewarded” with a lower fine if it complied with an Order from a Ministry of Labour Inspector to make safety improvements after an accident.


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Fine increased in Metron OHS criminal negligence causing death case

As you may recall, charges under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Criminal Code of Canada were laid against the company Metron for the death of four workers at a Toronto construction site when they fell from a scaffold that did not use proper fall arrest systems. A fifth worker was seriously injured. Metron was convicted under the Criminal Code provisions that make it a criminal offence to direct a worker to perform a task without taking reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to a worker. The trial judge fined the company $200,000 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge of 15 percent or $30,000. The Crown appealed and argued that the fine was manifestly unfit…


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Solid evidentiary burden to prove constructive dismissal due to poisoned work environment


In a recent decision, General Motors of Canada Limited v. Johnson, the Ontario Court of Appeal provided clarity on an employee’s burden of proof when alleging constructive dismissal based on a poisoned work environment.


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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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British Columbia Court of Appeal concludes employee’s conduct in workplace interpersonal conflict justified just cause for termination

Workplace personality conflicts are becoming all too common in the Canadian workplace given the heightened sensitivity to workplace harassment. With growing frequency, employees are raising concerns about how they are treated by senior management. However, what happens if an employee crosses the line between a legitimate concern to undermining the very essence of the employment relationship?


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Invasion of personal privacy

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v. Tsige deals with a novel claim, one for damages for invasion of personal privacy. This decision has garnered a great deal of comment in the popular press in the time since its release. Is the decision as radical as some writers have suggested? What are the implications for privacy rights in Ontario, and, in particular, the conduct of employers and employees?


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New Brunswick court of appeal weighs in on alcohol testing

On July 7, 2011 the New Brunswick Court of Appeal handed down a decision regarding an employer’s alcohol testing policy. In Irving Pulp and Paper Limited v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 30, 2011 NBCA 58, the Court found that the random alcohol testing policy in the case was reasonable.


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Dealing with stock options on dismissal

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision dealt with a number of issues arising from the dismissal without cause or notice of a senior vice-president of an investment company. One of the more difficult issues addressed at trial, and considered by the Court of Appeal, was the trigger date for the right of the employer to re-purchase the employee’s two percent interest in the company.


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Independent contractors are regularly employed for purposes of OHSA

The Ontario Court of Appeal just rendered an interesting decision regarding whether independent contractors are to be counted when determining the need to establish and maintain a joint health and safety committee pursuant to subsection 9(2)(a)of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.


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