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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Uber Drivers Found to Be Employees in California: Canadian Provinces to Follow?

A recent decision from the California Labour Commission (the Commission) has held that drivers from the popular Uber service are employees and not independent contractors. This decision has sparked public interest as its implications could bring trouble for the successful mobile-based start-up.

In coming down on the side of the drivers, the Commission concluded that the employer was involved in “every aspect of the operation” of the ride hauling service. Uber, however, has appealed the decision emphasizing the significant degree of driver autonomy as the basis for their operations and stating that “the number one reason drivers choose to use . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Accessibility Action Plan Outlines Incentives, Tools

On June 3, 2015—the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)—Ontario’s government introduced an accessibility action plan, which establishes measures to meet the goal of an “accessible Ontario” by 2025. The action plan also responds to the Report on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act review released in February 2015. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Digital Privacy Act Amends PIPEDA

Several amendments were made last week to PIPEDA, the federal private sector privacy legislation. This has been sitting around in draft for a long time. Except for sections creating a new mandatory breach notification scheme, the amendments are now in force. The breach notification scheme requires some regulations before it comes into effect. More on that at the end of this post.

Several of these changes were long overdue, and bring PIPEDA more in line with some of the Provincial Acts that were drafted after PIPEDA.

Here are some of the highlights that are in force now:

  • The business contact
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Sexual Harassment in Toronto’s Restaurants

Recently, allegations of sexual harassment in the kitchen of a trendy Toronto restaurant have ignited a dialogue about workplace harassment. While this doesn’t excuse it, industry veterans aren’t surprised by the complaint, saying that many of Canada’s restaurants have a workplace culture that is overwhelming male, close-knit, and full of sexualized banter.

The employee at the heart of the controversy says she was aware of the industry’s reputation when she accepted the job. “I just thought this came with the job and it was something I just had to overcome,” she reports.

In Ontario, sexual harassment in the workplace . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Province Introduces Legislation That Would Protect Whistleblowers From Reprisal, Prevent Disclosure of Identities

On June 11, the Manitoba government introduced proposed amendments to the Public Interest Disclosure Act to protect whistleblowers from reprisal, prevent disclosure of identities and give designated officers greater powers to investigate wrongdoing. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario to Outlaw Phantom Real Estate Bids

Starting July 1, 2015, real estate professionals in Ontario will not be allowed to imply that they have received an offer to purchase unless the offer is in writing and has been signed. The new rules, which have been established by the Liberal government and the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), are designed to eliminate the possibility of phantom bids in multiple offer situations.

It will no longer be open to agents to try to drive up the sale price by saying that they have, or are expecting, another offer that in reality does not exist.

Although the existing . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Passing the Smell Test: The Duty Accommodate Employees With Scent Sensitivities

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently considered the types of accommodations employers are required to make with regard employees with scent sensitivites.

The employee, a teacher with the Coquitlam School District, filed a complaint with the Tribunal alleging that her employer’s failure to provide a scent-free work environment amounted to discrimination on the basis of physical disability, contrary to British Columbia’s Human Rights Code.

In an attempt to accommodate her disability, the School Board and the employee agreed upon an exposure control plan that would allow the employee to take steps to minimize her allergic reaction, including leaving the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Human Rights Tribunal’s Finding of Disability Discrimination in Employment Overturned

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta recently overturned a finding of disability discrimination in employment in the case of Syncrude Canada Ltd v Saunders, 2015 ABQB 237 (CanLII). The Court decided that the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal erred in finding that the employee established a prima facie case of discrimination when the evidence could not reasonably support the conclusion that the employee suffered from a disability or a perceived disability requiring accommodation. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) Passed by Senate Despite Massive Opposition

Bill C-51 (Anti-Terrorist Act, 2015) has been passed by the Senate despite massive opposition against its privacy unfriendly invasive powers. See, for example, commentary by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, this article by security law professors entitled “Why Can’t Canada Get National Security Law Right“, and this post on Openmedia.ca .

Yet in the United States, the USA Freedom Act was just passed that pulled back a bit on the ability of the NSA to collect domestic data.

There seems to be no evidence that all this invasive spying and data collection actually reduces or prevents terrorism . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

New Criminal Background Check Legislation Introduced in Ontario

New legislation has been introduced to impose strict regulations on what information can be released in a police record check. Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Yasir Naqvi, presented Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, into the provincial legislature this week. Mr. Naqvi stated that “the main thrust of the legislation is to strictly limit the disclosure of non-conviction information and prohibit the disclosure of non-criminal information such as mental health information”.

This new legislation comes as a response to criticisms of the release of non-criminal information creating barriers for people’s education, employment, volunteering, and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Demotion Led to Constructive Dismissal

In Ciszkowski v Canac Kitchens, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice concluded that a long-term employee was constructively dismissed when he considered himself demoted upon his return to work from heart surgery. This demotion due to his disability created a serious erosion of the working relationship. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions