Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bill 148 and Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000

(c) istock/JHVEPhoto

On November 22, 2017, the Ontario Government passed Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, S.O. 2017 C.22. The Bill received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017.

The Bill amends several statutes:

  • Colleges Collective Bargaining Act
  • Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, 1993
  • Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Labour Relations Act, 1995
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Public Sector Dispute Resolution Act, 1997
  • Public Sector Labour Relations Transition Act, 1997
  • School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014

The post will focus primarily on the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the implications to Ontario employment law, rather than labour law.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Ontario Court Allows Random Drug Testing to Continue Pending Labour Grievance

(c) istock/milla1974

Can they pee test me? In any discussion that I have concerning the legalization of cannabis, this is the question employees want answered. “Can I pee test them?” Is the question to which employers want answers.

In yet another case to look at the issue of random drug and alcohol tests, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 v Toronto Transit Commission, 2017 ONSC 2078 (CanLII), Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Frank Marrocco ruled that the TTC could continue its program of random testing pending the resolution of a labour grievance filed by the union.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Mooch Ado About Nothing: Being Fired Before You Begin

Can you be fired from your job before you even begin it? As preposterous as that question may sound, that was the very question with which the Supreme Court of British Columbia found itself faced in the case of Buchanan v Introjunction Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1002 (CanLII).

Friday, 24 November 2017

Working Notice Inappropriate for Employees on Disability Leave

(c) istock/AndreyPopov

Few things in law are certain. Even fewer things in life are certain. In fact, it is said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Allow me to submit that there is one more thing in life of which you can be certain: your mother is, was, and will be correct.

Among the myriad things about which your mother was correct is the fact that if you were too sick to go to school, then you were too sick to go out and play once your friends got home from school.

I raise this tautology, actually a repetition of an argument that I made in paper that I authored in 2010 titled Sick of Work? The Legal Minefield of Workplace Burnout, in respect of the case of McLeod v. 1274458 Ontario Inc., 2017 ONSC 4073, which held that working notice was inappropriate for an employee absent from work on medical leave.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Brave New World: ONCA Says that in Asset Transaction, an Offer of Employment is Sufficient Consideration for Material Changes

(c) istock/gustavofrazao

In an asset-sale transaction, if the purchaser offers to employ an employee of the vendor, can the purchaser vary some (or all) of the fundamental terms of the employee’s employment contract and rely on the offer itself as sufficient legal consideration for such changes?

In the case of Krishnamoorthy v. Olympus Canada Inc., 2017 ONCA 873, Ontario’s top court ruled that it can.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Undertaking to Comply with the ESA does Not Displace Common Law Presumption of Reasonable Notice

(c) istock/IuriiSokolov

Does an employer’s undertaking to “comply with its obligations under the employment standards legislation” displace the common law presumption of termination only upon the provision of reasonable notice?

In a decision released October 20, 2017, Nogueira v Second Cup, 2017 ONSC 6315 (CanLII), the Honourable Justice Edward M. Morgan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that it did not.

Such decision is yet another in the long series of decisions to consider what it takes to contract out of such entitlement and, for the reasons that follow, it leaves this employment lawyer saying: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Scissors Beat Paper; Statutes Beat Scissors: Severability Clauses Can't Fix Illegal Termination Provisions

(c) istock/tommaso79

Everyone knows that in the classic children's game, Rock, Paper, Scissors, scissors beat paper. But can scissors beat statutes?

To the point, can a trial judge use a severability clause to excise the offending portion of a termination provision, keeping the remainder of such provision enforceable? While that question might seem highly academic, it is one of critical importance to anyone employed pursuant to the terms of a written employment contract.

In North v. Metaswitch Networks Corporation, 2017 ONCA 790 (CanLII), the Court of Appeal for Ontario finally laid to rest both this issue and its earlier decision in the much-maligned case of Oudin v. Centre Francophone de Toronto, Inc., 2016 ONCA 514.