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Supreme Court of Canada

SCC rules that AB PIPA violates freedom of expression in the labour relations context; PIPA struck down

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") violated section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and could not be saved under section 1 of the Charter.

Specifically, the Court stated:

37. PIPA imposes restrictions on a union's ability to communicate and persuade the public of its cause, impairing its ability to use one of its most effective bargaining strategies in the course of a lawful strike.  In our view, this infringement of the right to freedom of expression is disproportionate to the government's objective of providing individuals with control over personal information that they expose by crossing a picketline.  read more »

SCC: Restrictive covenant rules differ depending on whether tied to sale of business or employment contract

In Payette v. Guay inc., 2013 SCC 45,  the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the rules applicable to restrictive covenants differ depending on whether the covenants are tied to a sale of a business or to an employment contract. For more information on this case, see my previous entry here: "SCC to hear Quebec case on impact of sale of business, wrongful dismissal on enforceability of non-compete".

Alberta Privacy Commissioner will seek leave to appeal in case where ABCA found PIPA breached Charter

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

The Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner's office issued the following news release yesterday, concerning the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130, which found the Alberta privacy sector privacy legislation, PIPA, to be unconstitutional:

Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton will apply to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130.  read more »

Supreme Court of Canada will not hear appeal of Roman Catholic priest's unsuccessful constructive dismissal claim

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Religion

The Supreme Court of Canada announced on May 17, 2012 that the application for leave to appeal in Hart v. Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Kingston was dismissed without costs, meaning the top court won't hear the case.

In a decision issued on November 22, 2011 -Hart v. Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Kingston, in Canada, 2011 ONCA 728 - the Ontario Court of Appeal ("ONCA") had ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction over the priest's constructive dismissal claim, upholding the decision of the Ontario Superior Court.

Specifically, the ONCA stated:  read more »

SCC to hear Quebec case on impact of sale of business, wrongful dismissal on enforceability of non-compete

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear the appeal in Yannick Payette, Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd., successor to Mammoet Crane Inc. v. Guay inc. (Que. C.A., Dec. 12, 2011) (34662).

As set out in the Court's summary, the key issue on appeal is whether the Quebec Court of Appeal erred in applying a non-competition clause despite the broad scope of the clause and the wrongful termination of employment relationship in light of the Civil Code regime.

By way of background, the Court's summary states:  read more »

Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers posts factum in SCC case concerning privacy, work computers

The Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE) is an association of management-side labour and employment lawyers across Canada that was created in 2004.

In  a news release issued today, it announced it is intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada in the R v. Cole case. The release states as folllows:

In a case involving a teacher and nude sexually explicitly images of a grade 10 student, the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE) has intervened before the Supreme Court on the case, R. v. Cole, on the issue of privacy and work computers.  read more »

Top court to address whether pension benefits should be deducted when assessing wrongful dismissal damages

The Supreme Court of Canada announced on April 5, 2012 that it would be hearing the appeal in IBM Canada Limited v. Richard Waterman.

This case, from BC, concerns whether pension benefits from an employer funded plan should be deducted from wrongful dismissal damages.

The Supreme Court of Canada's summary of the decision is as follows:  read more »

Supreme Court of Canada to hear union's appeal of case concerning random alcohol testing in workplace

In a decision issued on March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it would hear the appeal of a case involving an employer's right to conduct random alcohol testing in the workplace

Some key facts concerning the case:  read more »

SCC refuses leave to appeal in Que notice, pension case involving 2 former Canadian Jewish Congress employees

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal today in Leona Polger, et al. v. Canadian Jewish Congress. (Que. C.A., June 21, 2011) (34438).

The case concerned two long serving employees of the Canadian Jewish Congress ("CJC") - one with 36 years service, the other with 22 years. The employees had been dismissed by the CJC in December 2004 and January 2005.

The Quebec Superior Court had awarded them each 36 months notice and a pension enhancement.

On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal had reduced the notice to 24 months and determined that they were not entitled to the pension enhancement. See: Canadian Jewish Congress c. Polger, 2011 QCCA 1169.

For more on this case:  read more »