2020 has posed unprecedented challenges for Canadian Employers. We know that in addition to keeping your employees safe and maintaining business continuity, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the changes to the employment law landscape in Canada.

These two, 60 minute virtual sessions are designed to help you stay abreast of what changed

Our U.S. colleagues recently wrote a great piece about the long-awaited and much-debated decision of the National Labour Relations Board (the “NLRB”) in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, 362 NLRB No. 186,  (“Browning-Ferris”) which has dramatically changed the concept of “joint employment” south of the border.  U.S. employers who – on the basis of 30 years of NLRB precedent – have operated on the basis that workers supplied by temporary staffing agencies were not their employees should take heed.  The rules have changed and employers will need to adapt.  Readers who want a purely U.S. analysis of this landmark case can link to it here.
Continue Reading Meet the New Boss…. Same as the Old Boss? Temporary Workers and Joint Employment in the U.S. and Canada

In our last post, we gave an overview of the union certification process, talked about why employees might choose to join unions and some signs of union organizing that employers should watch for. In this post, we will discuss what employers can and cannot do during an organizing campaign.
Continue Reading Not on My Watch – What Employers Can Do When Unions Come Knocking (Part 2)

When an employer receives a certification application, the countdown clock begins. If the employer was unaware that an organizing campaign was underway, the employer will have only five days to formulate a plan and implement it. This means that employers are often left scrambling, which could result in certification of the union or an unfair labour practice complaint.

Recently, this issue was highlighted in an article by the Toronto Star, which discussed the certification of housekeepers at the Trump Hotel in Toronto.
Continue Reading Not on My Watch – What Employers Can Do When Unions Come Knocking (Part 1)

On June 16, 2015, Bill C-525, commonly known as the Employees’ Voting Rights Act (“EVRA“), will come into force. EVRA will make some minor, but impactful, changes to the processes in which unions gain and lose bargaining rights in the federal public sector.
Continue Reading No More Stacking the Deck: Employees’ Voting Rights Act Brings Changes to Federal Union Certification and Decertification Processes

Overruling one of its own decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada today has determined that the “right to strike” is protected under s. 2(d) of the Charter, which is the freedom of association provision. In Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, the Court confirmed that legislation that limits the right to strike is unconstitutional unless its limits are reasonable and justified in a free and democratic society.

In practice, this case will ensure that legislators do not limit the right to strike without a strong and compelling justification, and without providing an alternative means of resolving a bargaining impasse –an alternative means that will not undermine the bargaining power of the union. In any event, a law that limits the right to strike must interfere only as much as is necessary.
Continue Reading Supreme Court of Canada Recognizes Constitutional Right to Strike: What Does it Mean for Employers?

Our regular readers will recall a previous blog about the case involving Jan Wong, a former Globe and Mail columnist, who violated the confidentiality clause in a settlement agreement that was intended to finally resolve her unjust dismissal grievance.  Wong disclosed information about the settlement in her published book, Out of the Blue.  The arbitrator found that Wong’s disclosure breached a specific provision of the settlement agreement, and ordered her to repay $209,912 to her former employer.

In an attempt to reverse the arbitrator’s decision, Wong applied to Divisional Court for judicial review.  To put it mildly, she did not succeed.  Moreover, she was ordered to pay $30,000 in legal costs to her former employer and union.
Continue Reading Settlement Agreement Confidentiality Strongly Enforced: Former Globe and Mail Columnist Who Was Ordered to Repay $209,912 Now Required to Pay $30,000 in Legal Costs

In Bernard v Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 13, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that employee privacy rights do not override a union’s right to receive the information that it requires to fulfill its representational duties.  Accordingly, employers may be required to disclose information that will allow a certified union to contact members of its bargaining unit at home, and failure to do so may constitute an unfair labour practice.


Continue Reading Privacy in the Labour Relations Context: Union Entitled to Contact Employee at Home