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Jennifer’s litigation practice includes representing employers in arbitrations, tribunals and courts, including in relation to civil fraud matters, fiduciary duties, disclosure of confidential information, employee theft, and other misconduct. Jennifer also conducts internal compliance investigations and advises on issues relating to international labour and human rights standards.

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.


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A recent decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (the “HRTO”) has further defined the scope of the test for “family status” discrimination. Employees may not be required to take measures to find alternative arrangements for infrequent, sporadic or unexpected family needs, before seeking protection under the Human Rights Code (the “Code”).
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On December 10, 2015, Bill 109, the Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015 (the “Act“) received Royal Assent. The Act introduces new labour relations provisions for two large groups of employees in Ontario: firefighters and public sector employees. Most significantly, the Act also amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“WSIA“), increasing employer liability (retroactively, in some cases) regarding workers’ compensation claims and survivor death benefits.
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Loblaws, Joe Fresh, Nevsun Resources, Hudbay Minerals, and Tahoe Resources. What do these Canadian companies have in common? They have been targeted in significant lawsuits in Canadian courts for alleged labour and/or human rights violations in their overseas operations or supply chains.

Canadian multinational corporations must take note that our courts are revealing a new willingness to expand their jurisdictional reach in light of modern commercial realities and perceived corporate impunity (see: Chevron Corp. v. Yaiguage, 2015 SCC 42), and they are keeping an open mind as to whether a duty of care exists between Canadian companies and the foreign workers who produce their products (see: Choc v. Hudbay Minerals Inc., 2013 ONSC 1414). This emerging trend in Canada is taking place against the backdrop of hardening and expanding international business and human rights standards and norms.

A key test case for this shift in Canada is the ongoing class action lawsuit against Loblaws and Joe Fresh (the “Loblaws Defendants“), which was launched by Bangladeshi garment workers in response to the well-known 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1,130 workers.


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In a previous post, we discussed the Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC“) decision in Potter v. New Brunswick (Legal Aid Services Commission), in which the SCC purported to clarify the test for constructive dismissal as it applied to suspensions. But does the decision apply to all suspensions? What if an employee is suspended because of misconduct? Or pending determination of criminal charges? And do employers have to continue paying employees while suspended for these reasons?

To help provide some guidance, we will be publishing a two-part series dedicated to the issue of suspensions: what types of suspensions exist, when suspensions should be paid, and – perhaps most importantly – what types of suspensions courts may consider to have been constructive dismissals. This post will provide an overview of the law relating to paid suspensions, while our next post in the series will address unpaid suspensions.
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Business is becoming increasingly global as companies establish operations in various countries throughout the world. As profitable as this strategy may be, expansion is not without its difficulties. Where an employer is a subsidiary or branch of a larger foreign corporation, for instance, there may be issues regarding conflicting laws and regulations. For example, where a parent company is expected to abide by one set of laws in the United States, but adherence to those laws may be viewed as discriminatory in Canada, what is the appropriate course of action for a Canadian subsidiary or branch?

On July 23, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) released its decision in Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v. Bombardier Inc. The case was the SCC’s first opportunity to consider alleged discrimination based on foreign laws.
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Our regular readers will recall our previous posts (here and here) on upcoming changes to the Employment Standards Act.  On February 20, 2015, some of these changes will be coming into effect:

  • There will no longer be a limit on the amount that can be ordered for unpaid wages due to an

Our regular readers may recall our previous post regarding the case of Attorney General of Canada v. Johnstone, in which the Federal Court of Appeal established a new test for determining whether an employer has discriminated against an employee on the basis of “family status.” In the recently-released Partridge v. Botony Dental Corporation, 2015 ONSC 343, the Ontario Superior Court adopted the Johnstone test in the context of Ontario’s Human Rights Code and awarded the plaintiff $20,000 in human rights damages.
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