On June 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal in a case involving an Alberta worker who was fired by a mining company after testing positive for drug use. In an 8–1 ruling, the court said the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal was right to conclude that the man was fired for breaching the company’s drug policy, not because of his addiction. Moreover, the Supreme Court of Canada found the employer didn’t fire the employee for the addiction to drugs, but for breaching the employer’s drug policy to self‐report his drug use. . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Case Comment’
A recent decision out of Nova Scotia has ordered an employee insurance plan to cover medical marijuana expenses.
Gordon “Wayne” Skinner was an elevator mechanic who developed both physical and mental disabilities as a result of an on-the-job motor vehicle accident in August, 2010. The accident left Wayne unable to work and qualified him for permanent impairment and extended earnings replacement benefits.
For the two years following the accident Wayne attempted to treat his disabilities exclusively through narcotic and non-narcotic pain medication and anti-depressants without success.
In 2012, Wayne obtained a prescription and license to consume medical cannabis. Wayne found . . . [more]
Written wholly by Cristina Lavecchia, Editor at First Reference
The issue in this matter was whether or not the employee was terminated for just cause. It was the employer’s position that it properly terminated the employee for just cause. That is, the employee was absent without leave for a four-week period, the employer attempted to contact the employee to no avail, and the employee failed to contact the employer or provide any information of a medical nature to explain his absence. The Arbitrator in this matter, however, did not quite agree with the employer. In essence, the Arbitrator expressed that . . . [more]
Last June, a judge of the Saskatoon Court of the Queen’s Bench handed out a suspended sentence to Seamus John Neary after he was convicted of possession for the purpose of trafficking and trafficking over 20 pounds of cannabis.
What made the decision especially notable was the fact that the judge cited the imminent legalization of cannabis as a basis to deviate from what would otherwise be a sentence of 15 – 18 months in custody. The judge noted that in the circumstances there was “an interregnum, a time that exists between two governing regimes” and stated
. . . [more]
[Neary] has conducted
The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (Board) notes that the following case is a “cautionary tale” for corporate directors. That is, the corporate directors in this case, unfortunately, “failed to scrutinize rigorously” the information provided to them by management and effectively left the day-to-day workings of the business’ operations solely to the owner, much to their detriment. . . . [more]
It has been a little under seven years since Bill 168 made amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) by adding employer obligations regarding the prevention of workplace violence and harassment. Considering the release of recent employer convictions for failing to comply with employer obligations to prevent and protect workers from violence under OHSA, we thought it would be good to look at some of these cases and revisit the legislation to help employers understand those obligations and comply. . . . [more]
In February, we posted a discussion with respect to how workplace political expression could go awry with human rights law. The article also provided best practices on how human resources professionals and employers can appropriately address human rights complaints specifically on the basis of political belief, activity or association. However, a comment sparked further discussion on how workplace political expression could also contravene harassment provisions under occupational health and safety legislation. . . . [more]
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has reaffirmed that when a commercial tenant fundamentally defaults on its lease, the landlord is entitled to treat the lease as ongoing and sue for rent, as it comes due, without any obligation to mitigate.
In the instant case, the tenant, Pet Valu Canda Inc., ceased paying rent to the landlord. The landlord did not terminate the lease and instead elected to sue for ongoing arrears of rent.
The landlord moved for partial summary judgment on the rent that had already accrued and was undisputedly owing at the date of the motion. . . . [more]
In opposed motions, many arguments masquerade as affidavits. This is improper. For the most part, legal argument should be confined to factums.
In Ferreira v. Cardenas, 2014 ONSC 7119, Justice Myers eloquently sets out the rules on affidavits sworn in support of motions:
. . . [more]
 Lawyers’ affidavits can be quite helpful in cases where the lawyers, or their staff, have particular knowledge relevant to the facts in issue before the court. In Mapletoft v. Christopher J. Service, 2008 CanLII 6935 (ON SC) at para. 15, Master MacLeod provided the following guidelines for the use of lawyers’ affidavits:
- For the
In what is certainly the most significant decision regarding the court’s ability to award costs against non-parties in over 45 years, the Ontario Court of Appeal has clarified the source of the court’s jurisdiction to award costs against non-parties and the applicable tests to be applied.
Chief Justice Strathy, writing for a unanimous court, noted that there had been considerable ambiguity in the case law as to whether the court possesses inherent jurisdiction, in addition to its explicit statutory jurisdiction, to award costs against a non-party. Strathy C.J.O. concluded that the court does in fact possession inherent jurisdiction in addition . . . [more]
A recent Supreme Court of British Columbia decision reveals that an award for aggravated and/or punitive damages is not automatic where termination for cause is not justified and upheld by the court. . . . [more]
Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, editor at First Reference
An Applicant recently went before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), alleging that the Respondent failed to pay settlement monies owed to him per the schedule agreed to in Minutes of Settlement. The Applicant sought full payment of the general damages amount agreed to in the settlement and a further $1,000 for the harm caused by the breach. Although the Tribunal found there to be a contravention of settlement, it deemed that the delay in receiving the monies was relatively minor, and therefore an award of compensation was not warranted. . . . [more]