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Archive For Entries On Labour and Employment

RCMP Permitted to Form Unions: A Purposive Approach to Freedom of Association in Mounted Police Association of Ontario v Canada

In Mounted Police Association of Ontario v Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 1, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) made a major pronouncement on the scope of the section 2(d) freedom of association right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In doing so, the court overturned Delisle v Canada (Deputy Attorney General), [1999] […]

BC Teachers’ Federation: A Finding of Discrimination Against Birth Mothers Affirmed by the SCC

On November 14, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its oral judgment in British Columbia Teachers’ Federation v British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association, 2014 SCC 70 [BC Teachers], overturning the British Columbia (“BC”) Court of Appeal and affirming an arbitrator’s finding of discrimination against birth mothers. The case hinged on the determination of whether parental leave […]

Balancing the Budget with EI Premiums? Stare Decisis and Canada v Confédération des syndicats nationaux

In Canada (Attorney General) v Confédération des syndicats nationaux, 2014 SCC 49, the Supreme Court applied principles of stare decisis to dismiss the actions of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (“the unions”) as being “bound to fail” given the Court’s judgment in a previous similar case. In contrast, the unions argued that provisions of the […]

Employment Law, Jurisdictional Immunity, and Access to Justice: Amaratunga v Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization

In Amaratunga v Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, 2013 SCC 66, Justice LeBel, writing for a unanimous court, determined that an employee’s claim for wrongful dismissal against the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) could not succeed due to the jurisdictional immunity that the international organization was entitled to as a result of an immunity order it […]

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 […]