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Alberta Court of Appeal

Gender bias in severance settlements, says UVIC professor Dr. Ken Thornicroft

Ken Thornicroft is a well known labour and employment law academic and adjudicator in BC.

He is currently a professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business and a member of the BC Employment Standards Tribunal.

Recently he has been studying the issue of gender bias in negotiated  and wrongful dismissal severance awards, and presented a paper that touched on this topic at the CLEBC Employment Law Conference in 2011. That paper can be found here: "Appellate Review of "Reasonable Notice" Awards in Canada: 2000-2010".

On June 4, 2012, UVIC issued this news release concerning his research:

Gender Bias In Severance Settlements  read more »

Alberta Privacy Commissioner will seek leave to appeal in case where ABCA found PIPA breached Charter

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

The Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner's office issued the following news release yesterday, concerning the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130, which found the Alberta privacy sector privacy legislation, PIPA, to be unconstitutional:

Information and Privacy Commissioner Jill Clayton will apply to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v. Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130.  read more »

Appeal Court: Syncrude not "employer" under human rights legislation of contractor who failed drug test

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Oil & Gas

In Lockerbie & Hole Industrial Inc. v. Alberta (Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, Director), 2011 ABCA 3, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that Syncrude was not the "employer", within the meaning of the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act, of a contractor who failed a drug test.

The contractor was employed by another company, Lockerbie & Hole Industrial, that was providing services to Syncrude.

Notably, the Alberta Court of Appeal set out the following tests for determining this issue:

In summary, a contextual approach is required to decide whether a particular relationship qualifies as "employment" under the Act. A number of factors must be taken into consideration including:  read more »

Sexual harassment allegations not supported but abusive behaviour by manager led to constructive dismissal

In Cooke v. HTS Engineering Ltd., 2009 CanLII 73907 (O.N.S.C.), the court found that the former employee's allegations of sexual harassment were not supported, but that the manager's abusive behaviour supported a finding of constructive dismissal.

By way of contrast, in a recent decision out of Alberta - Pawlett v. Dominion Protection Services Ltd., 2008 ABCA 369 - the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge's decision that sexual harassment by the boss led to a constructive dismissal. 

Use of professional corporation did not result in employee becoming independent contractor

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Therrien v. True North Properties Ltd., 2009 ABCA 44, upholding 2007 ABQB 312