The date set for the legalization of marijuana in Canada is now just over 7 months away. With legalization looming and the holiday season upon us, it is now more important than ever for employers to take proactive steps to respond to the changing legal and social landscape. Continue Reading Dazed & Confused: Navigating Marijuana in the Workplace
We have written over the past two years about a growing wave of significant lawsuits in Canada against corporations for alleged international labour and human rights violations in their overseas operations or supply chains. As we have reported, Canada’s judiciary is demonstrating a willingness to expand their jurisdictional reach to permit such claims to proceed. Canadian judges are keeping an open mind as to whether a novel duty of care exists between multinational companies and the upstream foreign supply chain workers or the local residents affected by their operations. Continue Reading Door Still Open? Canada As Safe Harbour For Multinational Human Rights Litigation
In the recent decision of Humber River Regional Hospital and Ontario Nurses Association (“ONA”) (Cherubino Grievance), an Ontario arbitrator dismissed the union’s grievance alleging harassment by a supervisor and found that neither management duties nor the employer’s internal investigation process should be held to a standard of perfection. Continue Reading Management Duties and Complaint Investigations: Perfection Not Required
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently left intact a lower court decision that supports employers in seeking an independent medical examination (“IME”) in certain circumstances. In Bottiglia v. Ottawa Catholic School Board, 2017 ONSC 2517, the Ontario Divisional Court held that an employee’s duty to accommodate may permit, or even require, the employer to ask for a second medical opinion where the employer has a reasonable and bona fide reason to question the adequacy and reliability of the information provided by its employee’s medical expert. Continue Reading Value of IME in Accommodation Process Underscored by Ontario Courts
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