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Employee failed to mitigate by retraining rather than apply for comparable roles available at former employer

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Benjamin v Cascades Canada ULC, 2017 ONSC 2583, a decision issued on April 27, 2017, the Superior Court of Justice - Ontario found that the plainitff former employee, Benjamin, failed to reasonably mitigate his damages by choosing to retrain rather than apply for the comparable positions available to him at his former employer, Cascades.

Specifically, the court stated:

[161]      It is not contested that there were comparable jobs available for Benjamin to seek at Cascades, given the comparable remuneration and his work experience as an unskilled general labourer. It is not contested that Benjamin "could have" procured any of the three available comparable positions.  read more »

Medical marijuana grower, Aurora Cannabis, will fund employee's legal case for insurance coverage

Topics: - Benefits
Jurisdiction: - Nova Scotia
Sector: - Health Care

On February 2, 2017 I posted that a Nova Scotia human rights board had ruled that an employee's medical marijuana must be covered by a workplace insurance plan. You can find the post and the human rights board's decision here.

It has now been announced that a licensed medical marijuana grower, Aurora Cannabis Inc., has committed to supporting the employee, Gordon "Wayne" Skinner, financially and with other resources in relation to an "appeal" to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal that will be heard on October 2, 2017.

The announcement was made in a news release by the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM).  CFAMM states that it is a non-profit patient advocacy organization founded in 2014 and that is dedicated to protecting and improving the rights of medical cannabis patients. CFAMM says it has been providing "strategic support" to Mr. Skinner in the case.  read more »

CUPE Ontario calls Ontario's Changing Workplace Review Final Report “majorly disappointing”

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

This is CUPE Ontario's May 23, 2017 statement on Ontario's Changing Workplace Review:

TORONTO - ONTARIO - The long awaited Changing Workplaces Review Final Report proved a major disappointment today when after expecting major reform of Ontario's labour law to make the legal right to join a union a practical reality for workers outside of traditional workplaces, the final report contained nothing of the sort.

"Rewriting Ontario's Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act isn't something any government can do every year or two so when it does happen, it makes sense to expect significant change" CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said today.

"What happened to the major reforms that workers have been calling for with a virtually unanimous voice? What happened to card based certification, anti‑scab legislation, access to first contract arbitration and recognition of successor rights - they're nowhere to be found. What happened to paid sick days for all workers?"  read more »

Ontario's "Changing Workplaces Review" final report reccomends significant changes to workplace laws

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - All

On May 23, 2017, the final report from Ontario's "Changing Workplaces Review" was released. The Final Report proposes amendments to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, 2000 ("ESA") and Labour Relations Act, 1995 ("LRA") and contains 173 recommendations.

The Ontario report was, notably, released one day before Alberta introduced legislation to modernize its workplace legislation. Specifically, the Alberta bill (Bill 17 - The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act) proposes to amend its Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code to support family-friendly workplaces and bring Alberta's standards into alignment with the rest of Canada. Stay tuned for a post on Alberta's initiative.

Genesis of Ontario's Changing Workplace Review

The 419-page Final Report is the culmination of a review that the Ontario government committed to in the 2014 Throne Speech and the Ontario Minister of Labour's 2014 Mandate Letter in relation to the review stated:  read more »

Competition Law Issues for HR Professionals in Canada

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I came across an interesting article today by Mark C. Katz entitled, "Competition Law Issues for HR Professionals in Canada".

Mark is a lawyer at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto. The article was published in December 2016.

You can access the full article at the link below but this is the introduction:  read more »

CRA fired 8 employees in last fiscal year for improperly accessing taxpayer information

Topics: - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Canada Revenue Agency terminated the employment of eight employees between April 2016 and March 2017 for accessing taxpayers' personal information without authorization.

This according to an article that ran today by the Canadian Press and that was carried by several media outlets, including the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post, and an article by the CBC. 

Other information of note from the articles (in some cases directly taken from the articles) is:  read more »

Aggravated damages awarded in absence of medical evidence

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Cottrill v. Utopia Day Spas and Salons Ltd., 2017 BCSC 704, aggravated damages of $15,000 were awarded against a defendant for failing to be fair in its assessment of the plaintiff’s performance in the lead up to its decision to terminate her for cause.

This continues a recent trend in wrongful dismissal cases of aggravated damages being awarded for treatment seen by the court as unfair in the absence of medical evidence (see also Johnson v. Marine Roofing Repair & Maintenance Service (2003) Ltd., 2015 BCSC 472 for a similar result).