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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). 

G20 ministers meet on building more inclusive and diverse workforces

This is the federal government (Employment and Social Development Canada) May 10, 2017 News Release:

BAD NEUENAHR, GERMANYWhen more women and newcomers can be part of Canada's educated, skilled workforce, our middle class and our economy grow stronger.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, discussed these key Canadian priorities at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting, Towards an Inclusive Future - Shaping the World of Work, in Bad Neuenahr, Germany.  read more »

Quebec Ombudsman now has power to investigate public sector whistleblower complaints

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Since May 1, the Québec Ombudsman has had the power to investigate disclosures about wrongdoings committed or about to be committed relating to public bodies.

The source legislation is the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies, which was passed by the Québec government in December 2016.

The law firm of Miller Thompson provides the following context for the legislation: "Following the publication of the report of the Charbonneau Commission which dealt with corruption and collusion in the awarding of public sector contracts in the construction industry, the Liberal government introduced legislation to facilitate the disclosure of wrongful conduct within the public sector and establish measures to protect whistleblowers from reprisals..." (see: "Quebec Introduces Legislation to Encourage Whistleblowing in the Public Sector" (Janaury 16, 2016).

These are some of the FAQs of note from the Ombudsman website:

Q. What is a wrongdoing  read more »

Ontario auto body repair company fined $10,000 for failing to pay ~$6,500 in ESA termination pay

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

This is the Ontario Ministry of Labour' May 16, 2017 Court Bulletin:

TORONTO, ON - Failure to comply with an order to pay amounting to $6,492.39 has resulted in a fine of $10,000 for a Scarborough business.

The company, 1685831 Ontario Inc. operating as Golden Mile Auto Collision, operates an auto repair and paint shop at 31 Comstock Road in Scarborough. It failed to comply with an order to pay issued in November 2015 by a Ministry of Labour employment standards officer that required the company to pay termination pay to an employee. 

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), an employment standards officer who finds that an employer owes wages to an employee may order that employer to pay the amount owed. A person who contravenes the ESA or its regulations, or fails to comply with an order under the act, is guilty of an offence.  read more »