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Bill C-487: An Act to prevent psychological harassment in the workplace and to amend Canada Labour Code tabled

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

A private members bill - C-276: An Act to prevent psychological harassment in the workplace and to amend the Canada Labour Code - was tabled in the House of Commons today by Brian Masee, a New Democratic Party of Canada Member of Parliament.

The text of the bill can be found here. Mr. Masse's January 29, 2010 news release on the bill can be read here.

Similar bills have been tabled several times previously, starting in 2003. Private members bills have little chance of being passed into legislation.

Class action overtime lawsuit against Scotiabank certified by Ontario court

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

A class action overtime lawsuit against Scotiabank was certified by the Ontario Superior Court in Fulawka v. Bank of Nova Scotia, 2010 ONSC 1148. The case alleges that some 5,300 sales employees located across Canada are owed overtime going back to 2000. The claim is for $350 million ($250 million in general damages; $100 million in punitive damages).

(Update: A March 30, 2010 commentary on the decision by law firm Fasken Martineau ("The HR Space: BNS Overtime Class Action Certified - Did Employer Policy Create Unworkable "Catch-22"?) can be found here.

Law firm files class action overtime lawsuit against BMO Nesbitt Burns

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

A third Canadian banking institution nows finds itself in the cross-hairs of Canadian class action lawyers on the basis of unpaid overtime allegations.

Filed on February 8, 2010, the Rosen v. BMO Nesbitt Burns lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid overtime for Investment Advisors and Financial Advisers going back to 2002.

The suit was filed in the Ontario Superior Court by Juroviesky and Ricci LLP in Toronto. This firm appears to not be part group of law firms  - led by Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and Roy Elliott O'Connor LLP  - that are acting for the plaintiffs in the high-profile overtime class actions that have been filed already against CIBC, Scotiabank and CNR.

The claim must be first certified by the court before it proceed as a class action.  

Juroviesky and Ricci LLP's February 10, 2010 news release can be found here, and a blurb on their website can be found here.  read more »

BC Maritime Employers Association files systemic sex discrimination complaint against its union

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The BC Maritime Employers Association ("BCMEA") submitted a complaint yesterday to the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ("ILWU").

The BCMEA is calling it an "unprecedented step" taken because of "the urgent need to provide an inclusive workplace at the waterfront in British Columbia".

The BCMEA further states that it had "no other choice" but to file the complaint due to "the refusal of the ILWU to participate in timely and meaningful action to move toward equality in the workplace."

The complaint  - a summary of which can be found here - alleges that the ILWU Canada and its various local Unions are engaging in various discriminatory practices contrary to section 10 of the Canadian Human Rights Act ("CHRA").  read more »

"Monitoring employee e-mail: a privacy primer"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Manitoba

Lawyer Brian Bowman and articling student Andrew Buck, at Pitblado LLP in Winnipeg, prepared "Monitoring employee e-mail: a privacy primer" for the December 2009 CBA National Privacy and Access Law Section Newsletter. The article focuses largely on the  federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

More on the end of mandatory retirement in Canada

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Manitoba

In August 2009 I wrote a post entitled, "Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision may signal death knell for mandatory retirment in federal sector." The decision in question was Vilven v. Air Canada, 2009 CHRT 24, which is now the subject of a judicial review application by the Air Canada Pilots Association to the Federal Court.

For more on the topic of the status of mandatory retirement in Canada you can read a bulletin that Fasken Martineau issued today entitled "Mandatory Retirement Being Retired Across Canada".

Leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada filed in case concerning Tribunal's authority to award legal costs

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Public Safety

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Mowat  2009 FCA 309, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal does not have authority to award legal costs to successful complainants.

This overturned the Tribunal's November 2006 decision, in which it had awarded the complainant $47,000 on account of her legal costs plus interest from the date of the decision to the date of payment.

The Supreme Court of Canada's website shows that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has now filed an application for leave to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Federal government establishes regional Canada Industrial Relations Board panel in BC, names 3 part-time appointees

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal

The federal Minister of Labour issued a news release today in which she announced the establishment of a regional Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) panel in British Columbia with three part-time appointees.

According to the Minister, the regional panel "will strengthen and improve the management of the CIRB and make it more responsive to local issues and more accessible to organizations." It will also "allow stakeholders to present issues locally, improve the timeliness of decisions, as well as avoid time-zone discrepancies.".

The part-time appointees are:

  1. Allan Hope, Q.C., a well known arbitrator who lives in Prince George. Mr Hope will be a part-time Vice-Chairperson;
  2. William Terence Lineker, who will be a part-time Member representing employers; and
  3. Cynthia Catherine Oliver, who will be a part-time Member representing employees.

Majority of Supreme Court of Canada rules that national freight forwarder is provincially regulated

Jurisdiction: - Alberta - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

In Consolidated Fastfrate Inc. v. Western Canada Council of Teamsters, 2009 SCC 53, the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a national freight forwarder is provincially regulated.