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Archive For Entries On Labour and Employment

Workplace Safety Is Paramount: Dionne v Commission scolaire des Patriotes

A pregnant woman should not have to choose between her health (or the health of her fetus) and work, the Supreme Court declared in Dionne v Commission scolaire des Patriotes, 2014 SCC 33. In the unanimous ruling from five judges, the court also sent the message that provincial tribunals must take care that their decisions do […]

Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining Rights Face Legislative Challenge: British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia

The government of British Columbia (BC) recently filed an appeal challenging the decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia (“BCSC”) in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia, 2014 BCSC 121 (“BCTF”) which found in favour of the provincial teachers’ union. The leader of the governing BC Liberal Party, Christy Clarke, has signalled the province’s […]

Martin v Alberta, Federal Employees, and Workplace Injuries: Just Like the Rest of Us

In Martin v Alberta (Workers’ Compensation Board), 2014 SCC 25, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) resolved a statutory overlap that had been treated inconsistently by appellate courts across Canada. The SCC held that workplace compensation claims of federal employees, who are subject to the Government Employees Compensation Act, RSC 1985, c G-5 [GECA], are generally […]

Store Closures Represent a Change in Conditions of Employment: United Food and Commercial Workers v Wal-Mart Canada

Wal-Mart’s historically combative relationship with unions most recently became an issue at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in the case of United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 503 v Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 SCC 45. In this case, the question before the Court was whether s. 59 of the Quebec Labour Code, c 27 (“the Code”) […]

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Given Parameters: Irving Pulp & Paper

The issue of alcohol and drug testing in the workplace is certainly a contentious one. Some readers may know anecdotally (or not so anecdotally) of its pervasiveness among oil, or related, industry workers in Alberta. The justification typically given for such policies, which may subject workers to deeply personal tests, is the dangerous nature of […]

The Supreme Court Confirms the Principle of Employee Protection in Quebec: Quebec v Asphalte Desjardins

The decision in Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v Asphalte Desjardins inc., 2014 SCC 51, demonstrates the Supreme Court of Canada’s support for employee protection while leaving an unclear future for Quebeckers who are employed in competitive industries. The case dealt with an employee’s notice of resignation and his employer’s subsequent attempt to shorten the employee’s remaining tenure without […]

Lawyer Unsuccessful in Discrimination Claim Against Law Firm

The decision of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP v British Columbia (Human Rights Tribunal), 2012 BCCA 313, previously discussed on this site, has now made its way to the Supreme Court. Canada’s highest court has confirmed the result that Mr. McCormick, an equity partner at Fasken, could not succeed in his claim of age discrimination against […]

Appeal Watch: Bhasin v Hrynew Submissions Before the SCC

On February 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada heard an appeal from the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision in Bhasin v Hrynew, 2013 ABCA 98. My previous analysis of the ruling can be found here on The Court. Lawyers for the plaintiff and the defendants made their oral submissions before Chief Justice McLachlin, along […]

Is the Right to Strike Protected by the Charter? A Review of R v Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

Since 2001 there has been considerable turmoil at the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) surrounding collective bargaining rights under the Charter. During this period, two significant decisions have appeared to shift the Court towards recognizing a constitutional right to collective bargaining. As a result, a trial judge in Saskatchewan took the audacious step of assuming […]

The Search for Goldilocks in the Wilderness of Punitive Damages: Pate Estate v Galway-Cavendish and Harvey (Townships)

In March 1999, Mr. John Gordon Pate was wrongfully dismissed by the Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey, after having worked for the Township as a building inspector for nearly a decade. After a subsequent police investigation, a four-day criminal trial, a civil action by Mr. Pate, a successful appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal, […]