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2010

Norm Trerise appointed to BC Human Rights Tribunal

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Norm Trerise was appointed a member of the BC Human Rights Tribunal effective December 3, 2011. He was formerly a labour and employment lawyer with Fasken Martineau in Vancouver. His appointment funs for five years. The order-in-council information can be found here.

Employer engaged in discriminatory action under Workers Comp Act by placing employee on STIIP, reducing income

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Health Care

In Emergency and Health Services Commission v. Wheatley, 2010 BCSC 1769, the BC Supreme Court denied the employer's request to quash a decision of the BC Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal ("WCAT").

In the decision (WCAT-2008-03840), which was delivered on December 19, 2008,  WCAT found that the Emergency and Health Services Commission (the "Employer") had engaged in discriminatory action under s. 151 of the BC Workers Compensation Act, against one of its employees, Michael Wheatley.

As set out in the court's decision:  read more »

Judge grants application by employer to re-open wrongful dismissal trial to adduce fresh evidence about mitigation

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Graham v. Galaxie Signs Ltd., 2010 BCSC 1655, the judge granted an application by the defendant employer to re-open a wrongful dismissal trial to adduce fresh evidence about the plaintiff former employees mitigation efforts 'following the termination of his employment.

Background

The trial was held in October 2009 and continued in February 2010. The judge issued reasons for judgment on April 30, 2010.

The employer filed its application to re-open the trial on September 28, 2010. The formal order flowing from the reasons had not get been entered in the court by the parties.  read more »

"Avoiding Employment Pitfalls In Inter-Jurisdictional Hirings and Transfers"

"Avoiding Employment Pitfalls In Inter-Jurisdictional Hirings and Transfers" is the title of a paper written by Amanda J. Hunter, a lawyer at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP in Ontario.

The paper was prepared for 18th Annual Immigration Law Summit held in Toronto on November 24, 2010.

The paper's Introduction states:

Transferring an employee to or from Canada, or hiring an employee from outside of Canada can be a complicated process. In addition to resolving any immigration issues, employers need to turn their minds to contractual employment issues.

The following paper is a checklist of "things to think about" when presenting an offer of transfer or an offer of employment to an individual located outside of Canada.

"Anti-Bullying Legislation"

Robyn Durling of the BC Human Rights Coalition prepared a paper on, "Anti-Bullying Legislation", for the Human Rights Conference (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) in November 2010.

"The Facts on Wages and Jobs in B.C." as of October 2010

Topics: - Workforce Trends
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC government issued another instalment of "The Facts on Wages and Jobs in B.C.". The mini-report, which was issued on October 10, 2010 and is based on Statistics Canada numbers, states that:  read more »

"Employees Working in Foreign Countries: Personnel Concerns and Other Issues Relating to Expatriates"

Paul Drager, a lawyer at Macleod Dixon, wrote "Employees Working in Foreign Countries: Personnel Concerns and Other Issues Relating to Expatriates" in 1999.

The paper deserves a fresh bookmark, however, because it appears to be one of the only resources available for lawyers as far as the to be alert to in relation to employees being posted to foreign countries.

The specific issues covered are:  read more »

Stikeman Elliott LLP launches "Canadian Employment, Labour & Pension Law" blog

Three of the more entrenched blogs in the Canadian labour and employment law blogosphere are:

  1. Michael Fitzgibbon's "Thoughts from a Management Lawyer";
  2. Professor David Doorey's "Doorey's Workplace Law Blog"; and
  3. Donna Seale's "Human Rights in the Workplace".

Newer blogs include:  read more »

“'I’m Being Sued For What?!' Deconstructing the Different Damages in an Employee’s Statement of Claim"

Genny Na and Naomi E. Calla, lawyers at Borden Ladner Gervais in Toronto, have prepared a paper entitled,  “I’m Being Sued For What?!” Deconstructing the Different Damages in an Employee’s Statement of Claim".

The paper was written for the firm's 13th Annual Labour & Employment Group Symposium held on November 4, 2010.

The authors have attached to the paper an extremely useful, and comprehensive, chart that lists court decisions in Canada from 1984-2010 where "excess damages" (aggravated, bad faith, punitive, etc.) have been awarded.

BC Teachers' Federation opens Charter challenge of Bills 27 and 28 in BC Supreme Court

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

Here's the content of what the BC Teachers' Federation posted on their website today concerning their Charter/legal challenge of Bills 27 and 28 which were enacted by the BC Liberal government in 2002.

The new legislation ended the BCTF's ability to collective bargain class size and composition; guarantees of service from teacher-librarians, counsellors, learning assistance and other specialist teachers;, the length of the school day, and hours of instruction in the school year:

Legal counsel for the BCTF began opening arguments before Madam Justice Griffin in BC Supreme Court on November 15, in what promises to be a significant case determining the rights of teachers and their unions. The BCTF is challenging Bills 27 and 28, imposed by the BC Liberal government in 2002, because teachers believe the legislation violated their right to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  read more »

First collective agreement in Canada specifically for migrant agricultural workers negotiated by UFCW Canada Local 1518

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Agriculture

The UFCW Canada Local 1518 has posted an article on its website announcing what it is calling the first collective agreement in Canada specifically for migrant agricultural workers. The website goes on to note:

  • the migrant workers work at Sidhu & Sons Nursery in Abbotsford BC;
  • the workers are primarily from Mexico and Jamaica;
  • they come to Canada each year under the federal government's Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (CSAWP);
  • a unique feature of the collective agreement is that it is specifically for the migrant workers at Sidhu & Sons, rather than the entire workforce; and
  • the collective agreement provides the migrant workers with, among other things, a grievance procedure, seniority rights, recall rights, paid breaks, increased vacation pay, and a wage increase.

The history of this case before the BC Labour Relations Board was long and drawn out, as evidenced by the following:  read more »

"Recent Developments in Employment Law: Family Status Discrimination"

Brian D. Mulroney, a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais, wrote a paper entitled, "Recent Developments in Employment Law: Family Status Discrimination" for the firm's 13th Annual Labour & Employment Group Symposium.

British Columbia legislative assembly finance committee recommends increasing minimum wage

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia "Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services" is recommending that BC increase its minimum wage from the current $8/hour.

The recommendation was found in the "First Report on the Budget 2011 Consultations" which was made public on November 12, 2010. The committee is comprised of 10 MLAs and chaired by Liberal Party member John Les. The specific reccomendation is to "Increase the minimum wage in small increments with appropriate advance notice".

The BC Federation of Labour, among others, has been calling on the provincial government to increase the minimum wage for some time now. See this March 5, 2009 post and this January 5, 2010 post.

"Trade Union Responsibility Under S.13 & 14 of the Human Rights Code"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Unions

"Trade Union Responsibility Under S.13 & 14 of the Human Rights Code" is the title of a paper written by Shanti P. Reda and Stephanie T. Mayor, lawyers at Black Gropper in Vancouver.

The authors presented the paper at the 2010 CLEBC Human Rights Conference in Vancouver on November 4, 2010.