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2017

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

Canada presents a vision for investing in people and their skills, with more women and newcomers in the workforce
Employment and Social Development Canada

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.  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:

Scarborough Auto Company Fined $10,000 for Failure to Comply with Order to Pay

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.   read more »

Workers at medical marijuana clinic in Toronto join union, believed to be first for such workers in Canada

Jurisdiction: - All
Sector: - Health Care

The workers at a medical marijuana clinic in Toronto, the Canna Clinic on Broadview Avenue, have voted to join Unifor, making them the first medical marijuana workers in Canada to unionize, according to an announcement today by the union.

Unifor states that 40 employees at the clinic are now members of the union and that they will now begin to negotiate a first collective agreement at the clinic. The staff includes reception, production and packaging and retail staff, as well as supervisors.

Canna has four other clinics in Toronto, as well as clinics in Vancouver. The Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries estimated in 2016 that there were at least 350 medical marijuana dispensaries in Canada (see National Post Article, "Avalanche' of pot dispensaries popping up across Canada is leaving some cities without an answer", April 24, 2016).  read more »

British Columbia government bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia government announced today that it is following through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace.

This moves follows the introduction of a bill to the same effect by British Columbia Green Party Leader and MLA Andrew Weaver on March 7, 2017,  International Women's Day.

The full text of the news release is as follows:

B.C. bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

The B.C. government has followed through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond.

The requirement to wear high heels in some workplaces is a workplace health and safety issue. There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.  read more »

B.C. business leaders join forces on inclusive employment

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Government announced today that 11 new members were being added to the Presidents Group, a network of business leaders first appointed in 2013 to help increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities and create a more accessible consumer marketplace.  

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO, Vancity (pictured) and Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, are the co-chairs of the Presidents Group.

The BC government states that "The Presidents Group is part of the Accessibility 2024 leadership team. This team works with government and the disability community to implement Accessibility 2024, BC's 10-year action plan to become the most progressive province in Canada for people with disabilities."

The 11 new members are:  read more »

HRMA: "Managing the Mobile Workforce: What You Need to Know Before Arranging an International Assignment"

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I will be moderating a panel session at the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) Tradeshow and Conference on May 2, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The topic of the session is, "Managing the Mobile Workforce: What You Need to Know Before Arranging an International Assignment", with a focus on the immigration, tax and employment law issues associated with cross border employment. 

The three panelists are:  read more »

Working and Doing Business in Canada: Tax Tips for Immigration Law Practitioners

Jurisdiction: - All - United States
Sector: - All

I attended a presentation yesterday on "Working and Doing Business in Canada: Tax Tips for Immigration Law Practitioners". It was presented by Nupur Rishi - Senior Manager - PwC Law, Global Mobility Services.

Nupar spoke about the personal, payroll and corporate tax considerations that employers must be aware of before sending employees to Canada on work assignments and, as part of this, the misunderstood "183 day" rule.

Photo Credit:  401(K) 2012 

Top 10 Employment Law Cases of 2016

Naomi E. Calla, a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais, has written an article on the Top 10 Employment Law Cases of 2016.

The cases and her brief summaries are:  read more »