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Newfoundland & Labrador

Possession of marijuana sufficient to establish termination

Jurisdiction: - Newfoundland & Labrador
Sector: - Oil & Gas

The impending legalization of marijuana has generated a consistent buzz of articles and discussion on the implications for the workplace. As a potential harbinger of things to come, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador recently reversed a judgment on judicial review and upheld an arbitrator’s finding of just cause for possession of marijuana.

In Terra Nova Employers' Organization v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 2121, 2018 NLCA 7, the court considered the circumstance of an employee found with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket during screening prior to boarding a transport helicopter to an offshore petroleum platform. The grievor expressed disbelief and surprise at the presence of the marijuana, but the employer terminated the grievor for breaching policies prohibiting possession of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The arbitrator upheld the dismissal, citing the safety sensitive nature of the work and the need to establish a general deterrent.

On judicial review the court reversed the decision,incorporating the concept of mens rea into the employee’s act of possession, and finding that the employee could not be terminated for unintentionally breaching the policy.  read more »

Newfoundland & Labrador issue guidelines on new “criminal ground" protection in Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Newfoundland & Labrador

In July 2010, Newfoundland and Labrador's Human Rights Act was amended to include an additional prohibited ground of discrimination known as the "criminal ground."

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines in relation to this new ground that can be found here: "Guidelines Regarding Employment of Persons with Criminal Convictions" (current as of February 23, 2011). As set out in the Guidelines:

This new ground protects persons with a criminal record from being discriminated against by potential or current employers on the basis of that record. The Act prohibits employers from imposing conditions of employment, refusing to employ, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because of a criminal conviction that is unrelated to his or her employment.2 The following information provides further detail on the intent behind this addition to the Act. 

Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law

The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.

 read more »

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 »

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.