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THE EMPLOYERS' EDGE

2013 IN REVIEW – A Look Back at the Cases and Legislative Changes that Impacted your Workplace

2013 saw a number of important decisions and legislative changes in the area of labour and employment law.    Over the course of the year, CCP blogged these developments and in this blog we provide our “top 10” cases and the most significant legislative changes of the past year with links to our previous blogs.  Enjoy!!

Top Labour and Employment Cases of 2013

  • Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada v Irving Pulp and PaperThe Supreme Court of Canada provided substantive direction on how employers should be expected to conduct testing. The Court ruled that an employer cannot unilaterally implement random alcohol testing with disciplinary consequences, even in a highly dangerous workplace, absent a demonstrated substance use problem.  Continue Reading
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  • Blue Mountain Resorts Limited v. Ontario – The Ontario Court of Appeal overruled a lower Court’s finding that required employers to report any “critical injury” or fatality to any “person” at a workplace; including whenever a non-worker died or was critically injured at or near a place where a worker was working, has passed through, or may at some other time work, regardless of the cause of the incident. The Court of Appeal held that this literal interpretation was unreasonable.  Continue Reading
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  • In a trio of decisions (Fair v. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board; Morgan v. Herman Miller Canada Inc.; and Monrose v. Double Diamond Acres Limited) from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, the Tribunal may have signalled a significant change in their mindset, suggesting that it may be becoming more liberal with the application of its discretion to award damages in human rights complaints.  Continue Reading
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  • Pyette v. Guay Inc. – The Supreme Court of Canada provided guidance with respect to restrictive covenants explaining that a non-competition clause must be limited as to time or the court will refuse to give it effect. Moreover, as a general rule, a non-competition clause that applies outside of the territory in which the business operates will be unenforceable.  Continue Reading
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  • Attorney General of Canada v Johnstone et al – The Federal Court framed the test for establishing a prima facie case of family status discrimination as one of determining whether the employment rule/practice interferes with an employee’s ability to fulfill “substantial parental obligations...in any realistic way”.  Continue Reading
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  • Globe and Mail, a Division of CTV Globemedia Publishing Inc. v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 87-M – An Arbitrator required that an employee pay back to the employer the entire payment she received in a settlement as a result of the employee having breached the confidentiality clause in a Settlement Agreement.  Continue Reading
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  • R. v. Metron Construction Corporation – The Ontario Court of Appeal addressed the relevance of “ability to pay” in setting fines where a corporate defendant pleads guilty. Metron pled guilty to one count of criminal negligence causing death from an accident where 3 workers and their supervisor fell to their deaths. The Court substituted a fine of $750,000 for the lesser fine originally issued by the sentencing judge.  Continue Reading
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  • Chevalier v. Active Tire & Auto Centre Inc. – The Superior Court of Ontario reinforced its view that dismissed employees are required to mitigate their damages by accepting continued employment with their employers.  Continue Reading
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  • IBM Canada Limited v. Waterman – The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that pension benefits cannot be deducted from employee entitlements on termination.  Continue Reading
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  • Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods Inc. – For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded human rights related damages in relation to a wrongful dismissal action.  Continue Reading
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Top Legislative Changes

  • ESA - Bill 146, titled “Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013” was introduced and carried through first reading of the Ontario legislature on December 4th, 2013. The Act, if passed, poses significant amendments to several key employment related statutes.  Continue Reading
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  • ESA - Bill 105, titled the “Supporting Small Businesses Act”, recently came into force. The purpose of Bill 105 is to provide relief from the Employer Health Tax to small businesses, charities and not-for-profit organizations.  Continue Reading
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  • ESA - Family Caregivers Bill-21 passed second reading in Ontario Legislature.  Continue Reading
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  • WSIB – As of January 1, 2013, the amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 as a result of Bill 119 came into force. The amendments to the Act expand mandatory WSIB coverage to persons working in the construction industry who previously had been exempt from coverage.  Continue Reading
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  • AODA – New accessibility toolkit available for employers dealing with AODA’s integrated accessibility standard.  Continue Reading
Please Note: This blog has been prepared as an informational service for our clients and other interested parties. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, a complete statement of the law or opinion on any subject. Although we endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the content, no one should act upon the information provided without a thorough examination of the law after the facts of a specific situation are fully considered.

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