Unions & Labour Relations

In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that, before employees in safety sensitive positions can be subjected to random drug and alcohol testing, it must be established that there is a general problem of substance abuse in the workplace (see our article summarizing that decision here)But what evidence is relevant to this inquiry? Should the employer consider its entire industry, its particular worksites, or just the employees in a particular bargaining unit? Continue Reading Alberta Court of Appeal Weighs in on Evidence Supporting Random Testing

Ontario’s Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, continues to move through the legislative process. On September 12, 2017, the Second Reading of Bill 148 commenced. To bring you up to speed on the current proposals, and in addition to our previous articles here and here, we provide the following overview of the key changes that are currently proposed. Continue Reading Bill 148: Update on Key Changes

In a recent blog post, we wrote about Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act which seeks to amend Ontario’s existing employment standards and labour relations legislation. Since then, Bill 148 has continued to move through the legislative process with committee hearings being held throughout the summer to discuss further changes to the Bill before it may be passed into law.

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met on August 21, 2017. A number of proposals were put forward. The following is a summary of the motions that were passed and will be incorporated into Bill 148. Continue Reading Bill 148: Standing Committee Meeting Signals Changes to ESA & LRA Amendments

We recently wrote about the Ontario government’s proposed changes to the province’s employment standards and labour relations legislation – see our blog posts here and here. On June 1, 2017, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Kevin Flynn, introduced legislation to affect these changes. Continue Reading Early Approval Across Party Lines for ESA & LRA Amending Legislation

Further to our recent blog post about the Ontario government’s reform of the employment standards legislation through The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, employers can also expect significant changes to the legislation governing unionized workplaces. The key changes proposed in respect of Ontario’s Labour Relations Act (“LRA”) concern union certification, bargaining unit structure, first contracts, just cause protection, return-to-work rights and procedures, successor rights, and fines for individuals and organizations, which are summarized below. Continue Reading Ontario Set to Make Significant Changes to Labour Relations Act

On May 23, 2017, Ontario’s long-anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report (“Report”) was released.  The Report contains 173 recommendations for changes to the province’s employment standards and labour relations laws.

The final recommendations would, if legislated, have a significant impact on the application of labour and employment laws to franchised businesses operating in Ontario.  To help businesses prepare for the possibility of these significant reforms, we have summarized below the recommendations that would most significantly impact the franchise industry. Continue Reading Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review Takes Aim at Franchise Industry

Random drug and alcohol testing for most Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees can proceed following a decision of Justice Marrocco denying the ATU Local 113’s application for an injunction earlier this week. The ruling permits the TTC to test 10,000 of its 14,000 employees, including those deemed to be in “safety-sensitive” jobs, as well as those in designated management positions and all executives (including CEO Andy Byford) under the TTC’s Fitness for Duty Policy (the Policy). Continue Reading ‘Breathe Here’ – Toronto Transit Commission Can Randomly Test Employees

The mass resignation of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Ontario Medical Association is not ‘abandoning ship’: the individual members are remaining on the Board of Directors because “They have a wealth of experience and knowledge that would be a significant loss to us if they were to leave the Board. The Executive Committee is making this choice in the hope that this will help unify doctors and advance the interests of the profession at this critical juncture”: “Ontario Medical Association head resigns following no-confidence vote.” The Globe and Mail, 6 February 2017. Continue Reading “Too Legit to Quit”: When a Board Executive Resigns, Sort Of

In what looked outwardly as a mercurial development, management of the union local that represents Toronto Transit Commission workers was itself subject to discipline and it didn’t involve the proverbial requisite remedial form that unions promulgate to employers. Incestuously, this was Big Brother telling a younger — and foreign — sibling to ‘leave the sandbox’ immediately: “TTC union heads fired in power battle with U.S. union.” The Globe and Mail, 3 February 2017.  Continue Reading ‘Disturbance in the Force’: When Unions Look Inward

On July 15, 2016, we wrote about the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy, 2016 SCC 29 (“Wilson”). In that case, the SCC held that most federally-regulated, non-union employees with 12 or more consecutive months of service can only be dismissed for “just cause”. See our earlier blog post here.

Following the Wilson decision, many federal employers were left wondering whether they still have the right to downsize or impose layoffs in response to a decline in their business. Such employers will be happy to learn that “downsizing” imposed for legitimate business reasons is still possible (subject to certain restrictions). Under s. 242(3.1)(a) of the Canada Labour Code, RSC, 1985, c L-2 (the “Code“), an adjudicator will not consider the complaint of an employee who has been laid off due to a “lack of work” or “discontinuance of a function”. Continue Reading Federal Employers May “Downsize” Despite Recent SCC Decision