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.

Employer Good Faith Duty Applies to Incentive Plan Payout

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 20th, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Labour Law, Litigation

Styles v Alberta Investment Management Corporation, 2015 ABQB 621 (CanLII), concerns an employer’s duty of good faith in the context of an incentive plan payout. Here the employee was terminated shortly before the incentive plan payout date. Long story short version: bad move.

The Court had this to say:

[66]This duty of reasonable exercise of discretionary contractual power is not a limitation on “the right of an employer to determine the composition of its workforce”; Bhasin at paras 53-54. It is designed to deal with both the unfair manner of termination and the consequences that flow from unduly insensitive conduct of an employer when dismissing an employee. In some situations, where the termination deprives an employee of the right to receive earned performance bonuses, grants, or awards, then the exercise of the discretion to terminate without cause becomes arbitrary or capricious when the employer creates circumstances under which the employee would be unable to receive the bonuses or other benefits and provides no reasonable or meaningful explanation for such deprivation.

The termination in this case deprived the employee of a benefit in a manner contrary to the duty of good faith contractual performance. The case also puts forward an excellent contingency analysis on damages resulting from the failure to pay out on the incentive plan.

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.

26 Months Reasonable Notice for Dependent Employee

Posted by Johannes Schenk on December 16th, 2016 — Posted in Employment Law, Labour Law, Uncategorized

Keenan v. Canac Kitchens Ltd., 2016 ONCA 79 (CanLII) concerns the amount of termination notice to be paid to a dependent employee. In this case the employer argued that the employees were independent contractors and that didn’t fly with the Court. On the facts the employees had an almost exclusive relationship with the employer and as such were treated as employees with regard to benefits. In addition, these were very long term employees and the Court found that 26 months was the appropriate notice period.

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.