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New Brunswick

New Brunswick court quashes arbitrators' ruling that random alcohol testing policy at mill was unreasonable

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Forestry

On judicial review. the New Brunswick Queens Bench court has quashed an arbitration board's ruling concerning the reasonableness of a worklace random alcohol testing policy.

In a decision issued November 16, 2009, the majority of the arbitration board had ruled that the policy was not reasonable and thus not enforceable.

The court's decision - which was issued on September 20, 2010 - has not yet been posted to publically accessible database. 

However, Toronto lawyer Dan Michaluk has been able to get his hands on the decision and has posted it on his "All About Information" blog:

Irving Pulp  & Paper, Limited v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30, 2010 NBQB 294

New Brunswick's minimum wage increased to $9 effective today

Topics: - Minimum Wage
Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick

New Brunswick's minimum wage increased to $9 effective today. The increase is part of a long-term plan announced by the New Brunswick government in January 2010 that will see that province's minimum wage reach $10 on September 1, 2011.

The B.C. Federation of Labour marked the occasion by issuing a media release calling for a $10 an hour minimum wage in British Columbia with future increases linked to annual cost of living increases.

An overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status"

A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status": 

  • It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
  • Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
  • Quebec uses the term "civil status".
  • The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".

(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).

Does the Ontario Human Rights Code protect employees charged with a criminal offence?

Does the Ontario Human Rights Code ("OHRC") protect employees charged with a criminal offence? The answer is "no" based on a series of decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") over the last year.

Ontario Human Rights Code

The OHRC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an employee's "record of offences". The OHRC states that "record of offences" means a conviction for:

(a) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or

(b) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.

Decision in de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc.

In a February 2009 decision, de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc. 2009 HRTO 172 (CanLII), the chair of the OHRT ruled that the "record of offences" provisions do not encompass criminal charges. Specifically, he stated:  read more »

New Brunswick set to raise its minimum wage

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - New Brunswick

The Government of New Brunsiwck announced today that the minimum wage will be increasing in that province in four steps:

  • April 1, 2010: an increase of 25 cents to $8.50 per hour;
  • Sept. 1, 2010, an increase of 50 cents to $9 per hour;
  • April 1, 2011: an increase of 50 cents to $9.50 per hour; and
  • Sept. 1, 2011: an increase of 50 cents to $10 per hour.

The increases are part of a long-term plan to meet the Atlantic average by September 1, 2011. The basic minimum wage in New Brunswick is currently $8.25.

The BC Federation of Labour, in a news release, pointed to the New Brunswick increase to renew its call on the BC government to increase the minimum wage in this province to $10 an hour with annual increases linked to increases in the cost of living.

For more information about the minimum wage debate in BC, see this post I wrote in March 2009.

NBCA upholds dismissal for cause where supervisor repeatedly viewed pornography on work computer

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Backman v. Maritime Paper Products Limited, a body corporate, 2009 NBCA 6, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal for just cause of a supervisory employee who repeatedly viewed internet pornography on his work computer. In doing so, the court reveiwed the law relating to the doctrine of condonation.

Background

At the time of his dismissal, the supervisory employee had 14 years of service and was earning a salary of $53,000 per year.

The employer had implemented an "Acceptable Use Policy" in 2002 relating to email and internet use. It prohibited the viewing of unprofessional, harassing, offensive or obscene material on company equipment. 

The employee had received written warnings in 2002 and 2003 for accessing pornographic websites. The second warning stated in clear language that any further incidents "will result in the immediate termination of your employment".  read more »

Alberta's Minimum Wage to Increase on Apri 1, 2009

The Alberta government announced yesterday that the minimum wage in that province will increase to $8.80 effective April 1, 2009.

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, this will move Alberta into second place, at least temporarily, after Ontario.

Ontario's "General Minimum Wage" is currently $8.75, but it will increase to $9.50 effective March 31, 2009. One year later it will increase again to $10.25.

The article further notes that Alberta's minimum wage will soon be surpassed by Saskatchewan's (which increases to $9.25 on May 1, 2009), Quebec's (which increases to $9 on May 1, 2009) and Newfoundland's (which increases to $9 on July 1, 2009).

New Brunswick announced in Janaury 2009 that its minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $8 effective April 15, 2009 and then to $8.25 on September 1, 2009

After that, British Columbia and PEI will be at the bottom at $8 an hour.

BC last increased its minimum wage on November 1, 2001.

Arbitrator upholds Attendance Management Program that gives management discretion when to act

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Health Care

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 908 v. River Valley Health (Policy Grievance) [2006] N.B.L.A.A. No. 2 (QL) (Bladon)