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Arbitrator upholds dismissal of 19 year employee who made reference to "going postal" and obtaining shotgun

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Transportation

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 v. Toronto Transit Commission [2005] O.L.A.A. No. 743 (Springate) (December 28, 2005)

Federal public sector whistleblower law receives royal assent

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Bill C-31, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, was passed by the Senate and received Royal Assent on November 25, 2005.

As set out on this Parliament of Canada website, the highlights of the bill are that it:  read more »

An Employer is not Required to Tolerate Excessive Absences

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

Published in Lawson Lundell LLP Labour and Employment Newsletter (Winter 2005)

In a recent decision1, the Federal Court of Canada - Trial Division (the "Court") ruled that an employer is not required to accommodate an employee with excessive non-culpable or "innocent" absences by simply tolerating the absences.

The decision involved a review of two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") decisions that were handed down in early 2003 concerning bus drivers employed by the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Transit Commission ("OC-Transpo").

One employee had been employed by OC-Transpo for nearly nine years. She had two types of diagnosed illness: (1) reoccurring migraine headaches that caused her to miss 57 full days and 11 partial days over the course of her employment; and (2) several transitory illnesses - gallbladder problems, broken ankle, bronchitis, etc. - that caused her to miss an additional 365 full days and 24 partial days over the course of her employment.  read more »

"Pension and Benefits Implications of Abolishing Mandatory Retirement: The Legal Perspective"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Randy V. Bauslaugh has written a paper entitled, "Pension and Benefits Implications of Abolishing Mandatory Retirement: The Legal Perspective" (November 24, 2005).

Mr. Bauslaugh is a lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. The paper was written for Osgoode Hall Law School Professional Development.

HRSDC issues chart setting out employers' "Notice of CollectiveTermination" obligations across Canada

HRSDC has prepared a very useful chart setting out an employer's Notice of Collective Termination requirements under employment standards legislation across Canada. The chart can be found here.

The chart is dated October 20, 2005.

Presentation: "The Payroll Process and Privacy Legislation"

I was one of four presenters at conference held today by Lorman Education Services that covered, "The Complete Payroll Process in British Columbia".

My presentation focused on the impact of privacy legislation on the payroll process. A copy of my powerpoint presentation can be viewed below.

BC Labour Relations Board Upholds Dismissal for Viewing Pornography

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In University of British Columbia and CUPE Local 2950 (2005), 138 L.A.C. (4) 358; aff'd BCLRB No.B288/2005, the grievor was dismissed by UBC on the basis that he had used the university computer equipment for the purpose of viewing and exchanging sexually explicit material, inclcuing conversations with an under age individual, such conduct being contrary to UBC's technology policy.

The policy stated that illegal use of the computer system included the distribution of pornography materials to minors and child pornography it did not expressly prohibit the viewing the adult pornography.

On this point the arbitrator concluded that the fact that viewing adult pornography was not identified specifically as an example of an acceptable and unacceptable use cannot be read as endorsing access to adult pornography as an acceptable use.

In addition the departmental directive had been issued that had warned staff to use he computers for unprofessional purposes with the most obvious example the viewing of inappropriately materials such as pornography.  read more »

"Pension Issues In Business Transactions"

Randy V. Bauslaugh at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP has prepared a paper on "Pension Issues In Business Transactions: Regulatory and Legal Framework Relating to Sale of Business Transactions and Plan Reorganizations" (October 19, 2005).

The Introduction of the paper provides:

This paper is one in a series of three papers focussing on major legal considerations affecting pensions in a business reorganization and outlines the legal framework within which strategic decisions must be made. As such, it provides a general overview of pension standards legislation and policies and identifies the more important case law affecting pensions in business transactions. It does not deal with other legal issues which may be relevant such as collective bargaining or other employ-ment or labour law considerations. The other papers will provide a more strategic analysis of key issues arising out of recent regulatory and case law developments.

"Intellectual Property in the Employment Law Context"

"Intellectual Property in the Employment Law Context" (November 1, 2005) is the title of a paper prepared by Carman J. Overholt, Q.C. and Taran K. Atwal at law firm Fraser Milner Cagrain in Vancouver.

"Attendance Management As A Method of Disability Management: The Value And Limitations"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal

Vancouver lawyer Carman J. Overholt, Q.C. and articled student, Cristiano Papile, of Fraser Milner Casgrain, presented a paper on "Attendance Management As A Method of Disability Management: The Value And Limitations" at the Insight Conference, Duty to Accommodate that was held in Vancouver, BC on October 24-25, 2005.

"Mergers and Acquisitions: Identifying and Addressing Pension and Benefit Legal Risks"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Ontario

Ken Burns, a Lawyer at Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver, has written a paper on "Mergers and Acquisitions: Identifying and Addressing Pension and Benefit Legal Risks" (April 18, 2005). The Table of Contents is as follows:

 read more »

"The Hostile Workplace and Employer Liability"

A lawyer at Davis LLP has written a paper entitled "The Hostile Workplace and Employer Liability".

This very comprehensive paper, "examines some of the protections the British Columbia Courts have identified to address psychological harassment in the non-union workplace, including looking at the limits of those protections." Specifically, the author considers:

  1. claims in contract, and in particular, claims for constructive dismissal and consequential damages;
  2. claims in tort, and in particular the claim of tort in intentional infliction of mental suffering; and
  3. claims under statute, and in particular the availability of workers' compensation benefits for stress leave.

The paper also contains on overview of Quebec's psychological harassment provisions.

Physical assualt justified discharge of short service employee, even though provoked by "bullying"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

National Steel Car Ltd.  v. United Steel Workers of America, Local 7135 [2005] O.L.A.A. No. 585 (QL) (Craven) (September 30, 2005)

"Learning From A Decade of Experience: Quebec's Private Sector Privacy Act"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada commissioned two Quebec lawyers to prepare a paper on, "Learning From A Decade of Experience: Quebec's Private Sector Privacy Act" (2005). 

The message from the Privacy Commissioner at the beginning of the paper notes:

...Québec was the first Canadian jurisdiction to adopt private-sector privacy legislation. Its Act respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector (Quebec's Private Sector Act) has been in force since 1994. Québec's Commission d'accès à l'information (CAI) and Québec courts have thus had more than ten years of experience interpreting and applying the various provisions of their Act across numerous sectors and multiple situations. As a result, there is a rich body of jurisprudence that has accumulated since 1994, providing important insight for other jurisdictions overseeing private sector privacy compliance.  read more »