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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Employer’s Immoral Manner of Dismissing Long Term Worker Deserving of Punishment

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent Ontario Superior Court ruling, an employer was ordered to pay a wrongfully dismissed employee $10,000 in punitive damages and $45,000 in aggravated damages on top of 24 months of pay in lieu of notice. In total, the employee was awarded approximately $150,000 in damages. The additional damages that were awarded made up one-third of the total amount and were awarded due to the employer’s conduct that it displayed when dismissing the employee. While its wrongful dismissal of a loyal long-term employee was egregious, the . . . [more]

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

The Notwithstanding Clause: Let’s Be Real!

INTRODUCTION

The Ford Government’s invocation of section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Bill 28 prohibiting education workers from striking and imposing a contract on them has once again raised cries of “this isn’t what the notwithstanding clause is for”. Really? What exactly did everyone expect to happen? Here I explain why I think section.33 has always been a ticking time bomb — and that there’s nothing that can be done about it except through strength of public opinion. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Tip: It Pays to Know the CRA Rules on Gratuities

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Thankfully for servers who work in restaurants, most patrons aren’t like Mr. Pink from the movie Reservoir Dogs who refused to tip. The practice of tipping used to strictly involve cash, but in more recent times, when customers pay for their meals electronically, they often include a tip, leaving it up to the employer to dole them out. The question at issue in 2022 FCA 151 is whether the employer’s payout of tips to its servers is to be considered contributory salary under the Canada Pension Plan, and insurable earnings under . . . [more]

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

Small Employer’s Lack of Understanding Not Excuse for Dual Discrimination

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference

In a recent Alberta ruling, a small employer was found to have discriminated against its employee on the grounds of family status when it removed her role and dismissed her for cause following the resignation of her common-law spouse. Given its refusal to recognize the employee’s taking of medical leave in her final days of employment, the employer was also liable for disability discrimination under the Alberta Human Rights Act. . . . [more]

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

The Need to Act Fast in the Face of Major Change

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

The law doesn’t easily tolerate those who sleep on their rights. In the world of wrongful dismissal, the adage “you snooze, you lose” rings particularly true. A recent decision of the Court of Appeal for Alberta (2022 ABCA 230) illustrates how an employee’s delayed objection to significantly changed terms of employment can leave them stuck with the changes. The court also provides helpful advice about factors that might serve to lengthen or shorten the amount of time an employee has to think before choosing to act. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Competition, Solicitation and Medication… but No More Injunction

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

This is a complex Alberta case: 2022 ABQB 58 (CanLII)-both for its facts, and the law the court applies. At its heart, it’s an employment case because it deals squarely with an employer’s access to certain revenue, without which it can’t operate. Essentially, it’s about whether an interim injunction cutting a Calgary pharmacy off from a major segment of its client base should be allowed to stand. These clients, formerly the applicants, started buying their drugs across the street at a pharmacy run by some of its former employees. One . . . [more]

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

Employer Vicariously Liable for Employees’ Dangerous Data Breach

In a recent British Columbia class action ruling, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (employer) was found vicariously liable for the actions of an employee who fraudulently accessed personal information maintained by ICBC. ICBC was ordered to pay damages to the members of a class action as a result of the privacy breach. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Queen Is Dead but Her Courts Live On

While searching for cases in Saskatchewan, I came across this CanLII entry:

Duzan v. Glaxosmithkline, Inc., 2009 SKQB 230

Court of King’s Bench for Saskatchewan — Saskatchewan

2009-06-16 | 3 pages | cited by 4 documents

designated — defence — expires without it being delivered — application — time

There are others; I don’t know how many.

In 2009, the court was the Court of Queen’s Bench, and its name was not retroactively changed on Her Majesty’s death; the effect of her death is prospective only.

I have no idea what CanLII did to cause this change to be . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

Uncomfortable Situation a Punishable Offence Says Arbitrator

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

A recent British Columbia arbitration case provides employers several kernels of wisdom respecting the investigation and punishment of conduct that violates a respectful workplace policy. Largely centered on the witnesses’ credibility, 2022 CanLII 60943 (BC LA) is a case that employers can turn to for guidance when dealing with such uncomfortable situations. . . . [more]

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

OPP’s DNA Sweep Discriminates Against Migrant Workers

In a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruling, it was found that the Ontario Provincial Police violated the human rights of a large number of migrant workers based on race, colour and place of origin, when it conducted a DNA sweep during a criminal investigation of a sexual assault. The HRTO noted in particular that the OPP sought and collected DNA from all migrant workers, regardless of whether they met the victim’s description or had an alibi, and the OPP failed to adequately ensure that vulnerable workers were able to provide voluntary and informed consent to the DNA . . . [more]

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

Specialized Contractor Can Do More Than One Thing

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

A recent decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, 2022 CanLII 5411 (ON LRB), could make waves in the construction industry for its redefining the concept of a specialty scaffolding contractor. Departing from the oversimplified notion that a speciality scaffolding contractor does nothing but scaffolding, the Board adopted a contextualized approach by examining the contractor’s devotion of time and resources to scaffolding to determine the matter. . . . [more]

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

Of Floors and Ceilings: Appeal Court Interprets Contract

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Clarity of language is perhaps the most important part of writing a good contract. In the employment world, the slightest uncertainty in a termination provision can and often does lead to costly litigation to determine how much money should change hands. In 2022 ABCA 220 (CanLII), the Court of Appeal of Alberta helped the parties interpret a provision providing for “60 days or more” notice of termination, holding that the ambiguity inherent in it meant that it should be interpreted in the employee’s favour. . . . [more]

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