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2004

"Human Rights, Privacy and the Workplace"

"Human Rights, Privacy and the Workplace" is the title of a paper written by Enid J. Marion and Andrea Zappavigna, both of Harris & Company in Vancouver.

The paper was written for the Human Rights Conference (Continuing Legal Education of BC) in November 2004.

The Table of Contents is as follows:  read more »

"Jurisdiction Issues In The Employment Law Context"

"Jurisdiction Issues In The Employment Law Context" is the title of a paper prepared by Carman J. Overholt, Q.C., a lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain in Vancouver and articled student Matthew Stacey.

The paper was prepared for the Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP National Employment, Labour and Pensions Law Seminar held in Calgary, Alberta on October 27, 2004.

"Successor Employer Issues: Unions Emerge as Key Stakeholders in Canadian Restructurings"

Lawyers Kevin Morley and Orestes Pasparakis wrote an article for the September 2004 ABF Journal (Issue, Vol. 2, No. 8) entitled "Successor Employer Issues: Unions Emerge as Key Stakeholders in Canadian Restructurings".

The article's byline states:

In Canada, the landscape for loan restructuring has been altered by an increased and more aggressive activism in the bankruptcy process by labor unions clearly dissatisfied with their historical treatment in Canadian insolvencies.

Are political protests by employees illegal labour strikes?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education - Health Care

Published in CBA National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter (September 2004)

Are "political protests" strikes in which employees do not attend work and/or impede others from attending work materially different from a labour strike? If so, are they permitted while a collective agreement is in force?

In two recent decisions issued within a month of each other -- Health Employers' Assoc. of B.C., BCLRB No. B64/2004 ("HEABC") and B.C. Teachers Federation, BCLRB No. B92/2004 ("BCTF") the B.C. Labour Relations Board arrived at different conclusions. In the HEABC case, vice-chair O'Brien, after conducting a Charter of Rights and Freedoms analysis, stated that in certain cases political protest strikes are acceptable.

In contrast, in the BCTF case, vice-chair Saunders, after also conducting a Charter analysis, concluded that in no circumstances are such political strikes permissible. Given that these two decisions are impossible to reconcile, reconsideration hearings can be expected in one or both.

Arbitrators can award damages in lieu of reinstatement

Jurisdiction: - Alberta - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

Published in CBA National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter (September 2004)

In a recent decision -- Alberta Union of Provincial Employees v. Lethbridge Community College 2004 SCC 28 -- the Supreme Court of Canada considered whether an arbitrator can award damages in lieu of reinstatement if he or she finds that an employee had been dismissed without just cause. In the result, the court affirmed that while the general rule is that an employee should be reinstated in such cases, in exceptional circumstances, arbitrators can depart from this rule when they find that "the employment relationship is no longer viable."

In this case, an employee was dismissed for failing to meet deadlines and not completing her work. Although the arbitration board determined that the employee was indeed incompetent, it also found that the College failed to comply with the requirements for dismissing her on grounds of non-culpable deficiency.  read more »

Arbitrator assesses when employer can suspend employee without pay pending disposition of criminal charges

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

CUPE, Local 4177 v. Nechako Lakes School District, No. 91 (2004) 134 L.A.C. (4th) 100 (Ready)

Bill C-13 amendments to Criminal Code now in effect to protect employees who report unlawful conduct

You can read more about the amendments in this Legislative Summary prepared by Library of Parliament.

Can an employer impose an administrative suspension on an employee facing criminal charges?

Jurisdiction: - Quebec
Sector: - Insurance

In Cabiakman v. Industrial Alliance Life Insurance Co., 2004 SCC 55, the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") addressed if/when an employer can impose an administrative suspension on a non-unionized employee facing criminal charges.

The employer and employee were located in Quebec thus governed by the Quebec Civil Code. However, the principles enunciated by the court likely also apply to employment contracts formed in Canada's other jurisdictions.

Background

The employer was an insurance company and hired the employee as a sales manager in one of its branch offices. Approximately three months after he was hired, the employee was arrested at home for the attempted extortion of his securities broker. He was held in custody for about three days and then released after pleading not guilty to the charges. Shortly thereafter, a newspaper picked up the story and published an article.

The employer suspended the employee without pay, without investigating the situation and without providing the employee the opportunity to explain the situation.  read more »

"Restrictions on Tort Claims Under the Workers Compensation Act"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Restrictions on Tort Claims Under the Workers Compensation Act is the name of a paper written by two lawyers at Vancouver, BC law firm of Clark Wilson. The paper, which was updated in May 2004, can be found here.

Presentation: "Labour Relations Update for Unionized Employers"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal

Today was the 2004 Lawson Lundell Labour & Employment Law annual client seminar. Along with my co-presenter, I did a presentation entitled "Labour Relations Update for the Unionized Employer", which was a review of the key labour law cases and developments from the past 12 months.