On December 15, 2011 the federal government gave Royal Assent to the omnibus Bill C-13. Included in that Bill was Part 12, which amended the Canadian Human Rights Act to repeal certain provisions that allowed for mandatory retirement. It also amended the Canada Labour Code to repeal a provision that denied employees the right to.. read more →

Generally, when we report on decisions of human rights tribunals, it is bad news for employers. However, two recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) have limited the power and scope of inquiry for Human Rights Tribunals (“HRT”) and that should benefit employers. Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Has No Authority To Award Costs The SCC has.. read more →

THE BRITISH COLUMBIA government recently passed amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act (Bill 14) which will significantly impact employers. These amendments come into effect on July 1, 2012. The amendments expand workers’ compensation to include diagnosed mental disorders caused by bullying or harassment. Employers will be required to have formal prevention policies for harassment and.. read more →

WITH THE CHANGING demographics and skill shortages in Canada many employers are forced to hire temporary foreign workers to fill positions that Canadians do not want or cannot fill. The problem is especially acute in northern BC and Alberta. The federal and provincial governments are making it easier for employers to hire temporary foreign workers,.. read more →

I am often asked to explain the rules about employees who are off sick (including those who want to return to work). Unfortunately, the law in this area is unclear. There are far too many “interesting” questions – and we all know what it costs when your lawyer says “that is an interesting question”! Fortunately,.. read more →

Wrongful dismissal lawsuits continue to plague employers. Consider these two employers: Employer A terminated a longstanding sales employee and paid a judgement of $205,148 plus likely $100,000+ in legal fees. Employer B terminates a longstanding employee, pays 8 weeks’ severance pay under an enforceable written employment contract and pays lawyer $0 to defend wrongful dismissal.. read more →

01 Jan 2011
January 1, 2011

Labour Relations Board 2010 Round – Up

In 2001 the Liberal government made significant changes to the Labour Relations Code (“Code”) making it much harder for unions to organize. While union density has fallen, unions remain a significant force in BC. Employers, both union and non union, have a stake in keeping current on the proceedings of the Labour Relations Board (“LRB”)… read more →

01 Sep 2010
September 1, 2010

Family Feud

Gulf Coast Materials Ltd. v. Helgesen, 2010 BCSC 1169 I once represented a client who had been dismissed by a company for alleged cause. The client had previously sold the company and stayed on as a manager. Two things made the case unusual. First, the day before the client was to give evidence, she died.. read more →

01 Apr 2010
April 1, 2010

Union Organizing – Is It Still Alive?

In 2001 the newly elected Liberal government introduced two significant changes to the Labour Relations Code. First, employer free speech was broadened to allow employers to communicate more openly with their employees. Second, a secret ballot vote was required in all but the most exceptional cases. Prior to that time, unions were able to certify.. read more →

BC v. BCGSEU, [1999] 3 S.C.R. 3 (“Meiorin”); Senyk v. WFG Agency Network (No. 2), 2008 BCHRT 376 (“Senyk”); Canada v. Mowat, 2008 FC 118, rev’d in 2009 FCA 309 (“Mowat”) There is no doubt that there has been an explosion of human rights litigation following the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1999 Meiorin decision. It.. read more →