Saskatchewan Employment Act (Bill 85) passed, 12 pieces of workplace legislation consolidated into one act
The Saskatchewan government issued the following media release on May 13, 2013, regading the passing of the controversial Bill 85:
The Saskatchewan Employment Act (Bill 85) today passed third and final reading in the Legislative Assembly. The Act consolidates 12 pieces of labour legislation into one updated and comprehensive Act that protects workers, promotes growth and increases accountability.
"I want to thank all the people and organizations who made submissions and the members of the Minister's Advisory Committee for their input and candor," Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. "The new Act includes house amendments that are the result of our consultative process. As a result, we now have an even better Act that is fair to employees, employers and unions."
The amendments include: read more »
Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law
The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.
Amendments to Saskatchewan's Construction Industry Labour Relations Act come into force July 1, 2010
The Government of Saskatchewan issued a news release today concerning the amendments to the Construction Industry Labour Relations Act that come into force on July 1, 2010. As set out in the press release, the amendments:
- allow a trade union to organize a company on a multi-trade, or "all
employee" basis, as well as on a craft, or single trade basis;
- enable any trade union to certify an employer; and
- allow employers to choose the Representative Employers' Organization that will represent them.
A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status":
- It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
- Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
- Quebec uses the term "civil status".
- The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".
(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).
Does the Ontario Human Rights Code ("OHRC") protect employees charged with a criminal offence? The answer is "no" based on a series of decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") over the last year.
Ontario Human Rights Code
The OHRC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an employee's "record of offences". The OHRC states that "record of offences" means a conviction for:
(a) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or
(b) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.
Decision in de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc.
In a February 2009 decision, de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc. 2009 HRTO 172 (CanLII), the chair of the OHRT ruled that the "record of offences" provisions do not encompass criminal charges. Specifically, he stated: read more »
Upcoming labour, employment and human rights law conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest
Here is a partial list of upcoming labour law, employment law and human rights law conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest:
17-18: 2010 Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Conference, (Lancaster House)
18: Legal Symposium: Developing Your Employment Law Knowledge, Surrey, BC (BCHRMA)
14-15: The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Regina, SK (labourlawonline.ca)
28-29: The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Edmonton, AB (labourlawonline.ca) read more »
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal overturns trial judge, allows dismissal for just cause based on incompetence
In Radio CJVR Ltd. v. Schutte, 2009 SKCA 92, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, in overturning the trial judge's decision, ruled that the employer had just cause to dismiss an employee who was the program director, music director and on-air morning show co-host for a newly formatted AM station.
In doing so, the court recited the test that will be applied when assessing whether an employer had just cause to dismiss an employee based on incompetence:
- the employer must provide reasonable objective standards of performance for the employee in a clear and understandable manner;
- the employee must have failed to meet the employer's reasonable standard of performance;
- the employer must give the employee a clear and unequivocal warning that she or he has failed to meet the requisite standard, including particulars of the specific deficiency relied on by the employer; and
- the warning must clearly indicate that the employee will be dismissed if he or she fails to meet the requisite standard within a reasonable time.
By dismissing two leave to appeal applications on May 7, 2009 - one from Ontario and the other from Alberta - the Supreme Court of Canada has stipulated that the courts in Canada (save for in Saskatchewan) will not enforce fines that unions impose on their members who cross legal picket lines.
In the Ontario case - Union of Taxation Employees Local 70030 v. Jeffrey Birch et al. - the employees worked for Canada Revenue Agency and were members of the Union of Taxation Employees Local 70030, a component of the Public Sector Alliance of Canada.
During a legal strike in 2004, the employees crossed the picket law on three days so that they could continue to work. Pursuant to the provisions in its constitution and by-laws, the union suspended the employees' union memberships for three years and also fined them each $476, which was equivalent to the total of the employees' gross salary for the three days.
The employees refused to pay their fines, resulting in the union filing a lawsuit against them in Small Claims Court. The case was subsequently elevated to the Ontario Superior Court as a test case. read more »