Workplace Accommodation is a Quasi-Constitutional Right

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 21st, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law, Uncategorized

Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail c. Caron, 2015 QCCA 1048 (CanLII), concerns accommodation of an injured employee. The Court in this case says that the human rights legislation supersedes all other legislation and is quasi-constitutional in nature. The employer cannot remove themselves from the human rights regime on the basis of other legislation.

Suspension Can Be Constructive Dismissal

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 19th, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Labour Law, Uncategorized

Source: Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission – SCC Cases (Lexum)

concerns the suspension of an employee. The employer’s handling of the suspension resulted in a constructive dismissal. In determining a remedy, the Court did not reduce the notice period by pension payment amounts.

Uber Driver Are Employees

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 16th, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law

An employment tribunal in London rules that Uber drivers can be classed as employees in a case that could have wide-ranging implications.

Source: What does Uber employment ruling mean? – BBC News

This is a highly significant ruling for other economies in which Uber participates in. Bottom line, you can’t circumvent benefit provisions by calling an employee an independent contractor.

Ryerson maternity leave termination

Posted by Johannes Schenk on May 12th, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Human Rights Law, Litigation

Source: Supporters of maternity leave rallied on Mother’s Day after new mom fired from Ryerson Students’ Union

And it’s 2016 and these types of actions are still up for debate? The law on maternity terminations is relatively settled: it’s not on unless you have a real and substantial business concern underlying the termination. The pregnancy and the soon to be employee with a new family member is not a good enough reason. And in any event the matter has to be handled as any other termination without cause: pay money or give notice (which doesn’t start to run until the employee returns from mat/parental leave).

Aside from the business cost and reputational costs arising from mishandling this type of termination (any termination for that matter) there are direct employment costs in terms of trust, loyalty and productivity. Employees watch how management behaves and respond accordingly. One mishandled termination can result in years of such impact.

Abbotsford facebook defamation

Posted by Johannes Schenk on April 24th, 2016 — Posted in Human Rights Law, Litigation

2016 BCSC 686 Pritchard v. Van Nes deals with an Abbotsford Facebook defamation case.

Briefly, neighbours were not getting along and the one neighbour took it upon themselves to air their grievance on Facebook with some posts suggesting pedophile tendencies. The plaintiff was a teacher and the Facebook commentary ended up with his school.

Just awful. Damages were awarded in the amount of $65,000.00. Given the facts, though, how would that help? Social media is a powerful tool that can ruin an individual at the press of a button. I’m not entirely sure that defamation law is keeping up with technology. Even in the days of radio/television (compared to Gutenburg’s press) not everyone would watch or listen to a program and the content would disappear with the broadcast. Now you have a permanent tablet that you can’t purge, get rid of or hide and that everyone feels compelled to check up on every two hours.