Discriminatory to provide birth mothers same amount of top-up benefits as birth fathers, adoptive parents
In a rare oral judgment that was issued on November 12, 2014 - British Columbia Teachers' Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Association, 2014 SCC 70 - the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a decision by the BC Court of Appeal and restored the decision of a labour arbitrator concerning top-up benefits provided to teachers who are new parents.
The labour arbitrator, John B. Hall, had ruled that it was discriminatory - under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code - to provide the same amount of top-up benefits to birth mothers as birth fathers and adoptive parents.
Specifically, Arbitrator Hall had ruled: read more »
The law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell has issued their, "Top 10 Employment And Labour Law Cases In 2013".
The cases on their list are set below. Note: the summaries with the cases are mostly my word-for-word cut and paste's from the original article:
1. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that random alcohol testing in the workplace is prohibited unless the employer can prove that, in addition to having a dangerous workplace, there are other pressing factors such as an overt substance abuse problem in the workplace.
2. Pate Estate v. Harvey (Township), 2013 ONCA 669
The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed that the Township employer had severely mistreated the dismissed employee, but reduced the punitive damages award from $550,000 to $450,000. read more »
Court considers right to terminate disability benefits for failure to attend Independent Medical Exam
In Nayyar v. Manufacturers Life Insurance Company/La Compagnie D'Assurance Manufactures, 2012 BCSC 28, the BC Supreme Court considered the right of the employer/disability plan administrator/insurer to terminate an employee's disability benefits for failing to attend an Independent Medical Exam ("IME").
Of specific value is this overview of the law on IME's that the court set out:
 Given the continuing nature of a claim under a disability policy, an insurer is entitled to information concerning the insured in order to properly assess the claimant's ongoing entitlement to receive disability benefits: Paul Revere Life Insurance Company v. Patterson, 2002 BCSC 138 (CanLII), 2002 BCSC 138 at para. 12, 99 B.C.L.R. (3d) 189. read more »
"Restructuring Employee Benefits: Options and Restrictions" is the title of a paper written by Lisa Chamzuk, a lawyer at Lawson Lundell in Vancouver.
The paper was prepared for The Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia course on Pension & Benefits: Critical Issues and What's Often Overlooked held on May 25, 2011 in Vancouver, BC.
An overview of the paper states: read more »
Can employees over 65 be excluded from benefits?
This is a question that Lindsey Taylor, a lawyer at Fasken Martineau in Vancouver, set out to answer in her article, "Benefits for Older Employees - Can They be Excluded? (April 20, 2011), written for Fasken's HR Space publication.
The article addresses three arbitration awards: read more »