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Ontario Employer Advisor Keeping Employers Advised on Developments in Labour and Employment Law

Tag Archives: Supreme Court of Canada

Dismissing an Employee in the Federal Sector? You Will Need More Than a Severance Package

Posted in Damages, Federally Regulated Employers, Just Cause, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal in Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and ruled that federally regulated employers must provide justification for dismissing a non-unionized employee or risk facing the “galaxy of discretionary remedies, including, most notably, reinstatement” provided for under the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”).  Unfortunately for federally regulated employers, this decision overturns the Federal Court of Appeal ruling we wrote about early last year and confirms the notion that federally regulated, non-unionized employees cannot be dismissed without cause or reasons.  In other words, a federal sector employer cannot simply … Continue Reading

Federal Labour Law Amendments: Harder to Certify a Union (and Easier to Decertify a Union)

Posted in Unions

On December 16, 2014, the Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (“Code”), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Sector Labour Relations Act (certification and revocation – bargaining agent), also referred to as theEmployees’ Voting Rights Act received Royal Assent and became law.  This new legislation significantly changes the rules for certifying and decertifying a union for federally regulated employers.  Those changes essentially make it easier to decertify a union and harder to certify one.

The amendments to certification and decertification requirements bring the Code in line with the labour legislation in several … Continue Reading

Did Bringing a Class Action Over Changes in Post-Retirement Benefits Just Get Easier?

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions

On January 16, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its long-anticipated decision in Vivendi Canada Inc. v. Dell’Aniello. The decision affirmed the Quebec Court of Appeal’s 2012 judgment certifying a class proceeding by retirees of Vivendi Canada (formerly Seagram) and their beneficiaries over the company’s unilateral reductions in their post-retirement health and welfare benefit coverage.

Prior to Vivendi, the question of whether or not a group of retirees could successfully bring a class proceeding against their former employer for changes in post-retirement benefits was, to quote Donald Rumsfeld, a “known unknown”. Different courts across the country had … Continue Reading

Cost Orders Under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

Posted in Human Rights

A common complaint we hear from employers who are engaged in proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) is that regardless of the merits of the complaint, or the end result, the employer is burdened with the legal costs of successfully defending a complaint. Currently, the Tribunal does not have the explicit power under the Human Rights Code to order costs against the unsuccessful party, and the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that a human rights tribunal cannot order costs without an express grant from Parliament.

The introduction of a recent private members bill seeks to address … Continue Reading

Employer’s Random Alcohol Testing Policy Constitutes Unreasonable Invasion of Employees’ Rights to Privacy

Posted in Employment Standards, Labour Relations, Occupational Health and Safety, Termination

An employee’s right to ensure workplace safety versus an employee’s right to privacy – these competing rights have been present in the workplace for many years. On one hand, employers must be able to adopt policies to protect their workforce and abide by statutory health and safety obligations. On the other hand, employees expect that they will not be subject to intrusive policies that unreasonably infringe on their privacy expectations.

In Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Limited, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently weighed in on how to balance … Continue Reading