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BC Human Rights Tribunal

Reasonable to request Functional Capacity Evaluation and Independent Medical Examination in accommodation process

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a recent case - Sluzar v. City of Burnaby (No. 3), 2010 BCHRT 19 - the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled, among other things, that the employer had a valid and reasonable basis for requesting that the employee attend a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and an Independent Medical Examination (IME) with a psychologist, as part of the accommodation process.

You can read Bull Housser Tupper's summary of this case here.

Discriminatory to dismiss for non-culpable absenteeism months before severance obligations triggered

The decision by the BC Human Rights Tribunal ("Tribunal") in USWA v. Weyerhaeuser, 2009 BCHRT 328 is important and worth reviewing for two key reasons:

  1. It re-affirms that employers can terminate the employment relationship for innocent or non-culpable absenteeism and provides some guidance on how this can be done through a formal "termination program"; and
  2. It is a reminder to employers that they can be found to have contravened human rights legislation if they treat employees on disability leave different than active employees when addressing severance entitlements at the time of a permanent closure.

Background

The United Steel-Workers Association, Local 1-423 (the "Union") filed a representative complaint with the Tribunal alleging that four of its members (the "Employees") were discriminated against with respect to their employment, on the basis of physical and mental disability, contrary to section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code (the "Code").  read more »

Employee’s refusal to extend Return to Work Agreement, acknowledge alcohol dependency, not just cause

In Taylor v. New Westminster (City) (Vancouver Registry S084283, August 19, 2009), the court found that the employer did not have just cause to dismiss an employee who refused to sign an extension to a Return to Work Agreement that required him to acknowledge that he had an alcohol dependency.

Background

At the time of his dismissal, the employee was 54 years old, had 16 years of service and earned a salary of approximately $90,000 per annum. He was Manager of Fleet Services, a safety sensitive position in that he supervised a team of mechanics who performed maintenance and repair work on the employer's various vehicles, including those for the fire and police departments.

Until February 2007, the employee had "an excellent work history" and the employer had "no concerns about his safety in the workplace" (para. 9).

The Incident  read more »

CLE BC "Human Rights Conference - 2009"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal

Day 2 of the annual CLE BC "Human Rights Conference - 2009" took place today in Vancouver. J. Grant Sinclair, Q.C., whose appointment as chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ended this week, was the luncheon speaker. He presented on section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits hate messages.  

Discrimination based on "family status" not found in case where employee was fired for refusing to work overtime

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Human Rights Tribunal recently ruled in Falardeau v. Ferguson Moving et al 2009 BCHRT 272 that an employer did not discriminate against a single father employee on the basis of "family status" when it fired him for refusing to work overtime.

In doing so, the Tribunal cited the BC Court of Appeal's decision in Health Sciences Assn. of British Columbia v. Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, 2004 BCCA 260, where the Court discussed, but did not define, discrimination based on family status:  read more »