In a recent decision, Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) held that the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) reasonably concluded that a worker who tested positive for drugs following a workplace accident was terminated because he breached the employer’s drug policy and not for discriminatory reasons. This decision is a welcome result for employers faced with safety risks due to substance use in their workplace. Continue Reading Proactive Anti-Drug Policy Not Discriminatory: Supreme Court of Canada
On June 19, 2017, five years after “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added as protected grounds of discrimination in Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the Federal government has added “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Continue Reading Federal Government Adds “Gender Identity” And “Gender Expression” to Canadian Human Rights Act
Prime Minister Trudeau portended the legalization of ‘pot’ in Canada in his election campaign. Pending such development, a recent decision by a court-appointed Board of Inquiry has ‘planted the seed’ for coverage of medical marijuana prescriptions under employee benefit plans: Skinner v. Board of Trustees of the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund (“Skinner“). Continue Reading ‘Up in Smoke’: Benefit Coverage for Medical Marijuana
We are living in uncertain and quickly changing times. Most recently, on January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) that suspends entry into the United States for 90 days of certain aliens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. For more information about the EO and its immigration and mobility consequences for individuals entering the US, read here. For our analysis of the impact of the EO on global and US multinational employers, read here.
Just when we thought the test for family status discrimination had finally been given some certainty by the Federal Court of Appeal in Johnstone v Canada, 2014 FCA 110 (“Johnstone“), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “HRTO”) has set out yet another test. Continue Reading Family Status Discrimination: Where Are We Now?
Given Blue Monday, many of us are reminded of how depressing January can be after the euphoria of the “festive season” has passed. But feeling “off” is not the same as being clinically depressed. Just ask Bruce Springsteen, who recently unmasked his quiet suffering in his autobiography Born to Run : “I believe it’s the same for most people. You’re looking for something, some place where you feel comfortable, where you’re able to express yourself; some place you feel safe. It is the answer to a lot of the conflicts.” Continue Reading Brilliant Disguise: The Duty to Accommodate Mental Illness and The Boss
To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2016: Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2016
True to their October 2015 campaign promise, the federal government has recently commenced a cross-country consultation process with Canadians aimed at developing national accessibility legislation. Continue Reading Sunny Ways? More Accessibility Legislation Coming
Regulations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act changed on July 1, 2016. The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service were revoked, and a modified version of those standards has been incorporated into the Integrated Accessibility Standards. As a result, organizations must implement the following changes: Continue Reading AODA & Customer Service: 5 Key Changes Effective July 1, 2016
In the recent decision of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board v. Fair, 2016 ONCA 421, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) upheld the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s 2013 decision to reinstate an employee, more than 10 years after her employment was terminated. By the time of the ONCA’s decision, almost 15 years had passed since the original termination.
The ONCA’s decision may encourage other decision-makers to order reinstatement as a remedy in discrimination cases. The decision also highlights the importance of considering all possible positions, vacant or not, in order to meet the duty to accommodate employees with disabilities.