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British Columbia

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). 

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.

The change was made by amending the existing footwear regulation (section 8.22) of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, under the Workers Compensation Act.  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 »

Mayor Gregor Robertson calls for City of Vancouver to be "living wage" employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Local Government

The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, issued the following news release today (June 29, 2015):

Mayor calls for Vancouver to become a Living Wage employer

"Saying it is important for the City of Vancouver to show leadership on reducing inequality, Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing forward a motion to City Council this week calling on the City to become a living wage employer.

Noting that Vancouver will be joining a number of existing living wage employers, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way, Robertson said the policy is a practical response to the fact that housing, transportation and living costs have been rising in the region while wages have stagnated.

The result is that more and more families are unable to make ends meet even if they have two jobs, exposing their children to poverty.  read more »

BC Hydro and labour unions reach labour deal to build Site C dam in northeast BC

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Utilities

BC Hydro issued this news release today (May 27, 2015):

The BC Building Trades and BC Hydro have secured an agreement on the importance of labour stability on the Site C Clean Energy Project, recognizing that stability is best achieved with a mix of labour representation that includes building trades unions.

The framework allows the project to operate as a managed open site that includes participation from union and non-union workers as well as independent and First Nations contractors.

"This agreement ensures workers from all labour groups can build Site C together and paves the way for the labour stability that I believe British Columbians want as we undertake building the largest hydroelectric project in a generation," said Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro. "It allows for a managed open site and also takes important steps to ensure the BC Building Trades unions will take part in the construction along with all other B.C. workers."  read more »

BC's new pension standards legislation will come into force on September 30, 2015, announces government

Topics: - News Releases - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on May 13, 2015 regarding the province's new pension standards legislation:

The Province's new Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA), which accommodates alternative pension plan designs and improves plan governance, comes into force on Sept. 30, 2015, Finance Minister Michael de Jong has announced.

The new legislation modernizes the existing policy and regulatory framework for B.C.'s occupational pension plans by replacing the current legislation. It has been largely harmonized with Alberta legislation to streamline the operation of pension plans with members in both provinces.

Key benefits of the PBSA include greater access to financial hardship unlocking, enabling the establishment of target benefit plans, and enhanced disclosure and governance of pension plans.  read more »