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Class action lawsuit launched against Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards obligations

Ontario lawyer Ted Charney, Charney Lawyers, announced that he has filed a class action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards legislation as it relates to the junior hockey players who play in the league. This is his press release:

CHL CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED TORONTO, October 20, 2014 - A class action has been commenced on behalf of all players in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) who entered into contracts with the teams in those leagues. It is alleged that the contracts with the players are employment contracts that contravene the minimum wage set by the legislation governing each jurisdiction where a team is domiciled.

The defendants are the Canadian Hockey League, the OHL, the WHL, the QMJHL, and the sixty teams that play in each of these leagues.  read more »

Saskatchewan Employment Act (Bill 85) passed, 12 pieces of workplace legislation consolidated into one act

Jurisdiction: - Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan government issued the following media release on May 13, 2013, regading the passing of the controversial Bill 85:

The Saskatchewan Employment Act (Bill 85) today passed third and final reading in the Legislative Assembly.  The Act consolidates 12 pieces of labour legislation into one updated and comprehensive Act that protects workers, promotes growth and increases accountability.

"I want to thank all the people and organizations who made submissions and the members of the Minister's Advisory Committee for their input and candor," Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said.  "The new Act includes house amendments that are the result of our consultative process.  As a result, we now have an even better Act that is fair to employees, employers and unions."

The amendments include:  read more »

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 »

"Anti-Bullying Legislation"

Robyn Durling of the BC Human Rights Coalition prepared a paper on, "Anti-Bullying Legislation", for the Human Rights Conference (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) in November 2010.

Amendments to Saskatchewan's Construction Industry Labour Relations Act come into force July 1, 2010

Jurisdiction: - Saskatchewan
Sector: - Construction

The Government of Saskatchewan issued a news release today concerning the amendments to the Construction Industry Labour Relations Act that come into force on July 1, 2010. As set out in the press release, the amendments:

  • allow a trade union to organize a company on a multi-trade, or "all
    employee" basis, as well as on a craft, or single trade basis;
  • enable any trade union to certify an employer; and
  • allow employers to choose the Representative Employers' Organization that will represent them.

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 »

Upcoming labour, employment and human rights law conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest

Topics: - Conferences

Here is a partial list of upcoming labour law, employment law and human rights law  conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest:

March 2010

17-18:    2010 Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Conference, (Lancaster House)

18:        Legal Symposium: Developing Your Employment Law Knowledge, Surrey, BC  (BCHRMA)

April 2010

14-15:   The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Regina, SK (

20:        IPM Vancouver One Day Conference (Institute of Professional Management)

28-29:   The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Edmonton, AB (  read more »

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturns trial judge, allows dismissal for just cause based on incompetence

Jurisdiction: - Saskatchewan
Sector: - Media

In Radio CJVR Ltd. v. Schutte, 2009 SKCA 92, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, in  overturning the trial judge's decision, ruled that the employer had just cause to dismiss an employee who was the program director, music director and on-air morning show co-host for a newly formatted AM station.

In doing so, the court recited the test that will be applied when assessing whether an employer had just cause to dismiss an employee based on incompetence:

  1. the employer must provide reasonable objective standards of performance for the employee in a clear and understandable manner; 
  2. the employee must have failed to meet the employer's reasonable standard of performance;
  3. the employer must give the employee a clear and unequivocal warning that she or he has failed to meet the requisite standard, including particulars of the specific deficiency relied on by the employer; and
  4. the warning must clearly indicate that the employee will be dismissed if he or she fails to meet the requisite standard within a reasonable time.