Sunday, 27 October 2013

Judge Orders NFU-O Accredited as GFO

In a decision released October 16, 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, under the pen of the Honourable Mr. Justice Robert N. Beaudoin, ordered the Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal to accredit the National Farmers Union - Ontario as a 'general farm organization' pursuant to the provisions of the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act, 1993, S.O. 1993 c. 21. The full text of the decision can be found here: National Farmers Union - Ontario v. Ontario (Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal), 2013 ONSC 6452.

For those wondering why an employment law blog would consider such a case, there are two reasons: First, yours truly represented the National Farmers Union - Ontario; and second, the court's decision was based on judicial review. Judicial review is commonly used as a check on the decisions made by administrative tribunals such as the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), and the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), amongst many others. Indeed some of the precedents relied upon by the court were labour and employment cases and the court's decision in this case could be equally applicable in future judicial reviews of labour and employment cases.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Hotel Employee Gets Early Check-out from Ontario Lawsuit

If an employee works in the United States for a multinational corporation with its corporate head office in Ontario, can that employee sue her former employer in the Ontario courts for wrongful dismissal and violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code when she gets fired?

While the typical law answer will always be "it depends," in a decision released earlier this year, Sullivan v. Four Seasons Hotels Limited (2013), 2013 ONSC 4622, 116 OR (3d) 365, the Honourable Justice Sandra Chapnik of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that at least one employee could not.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Caveat Venditor - Non-Competition Agreements in Asset Sales

Can a five-year non-competition agreement be legally enforceable? If it is attached to the sale of a part of your business it can be, says the Supreme Court of Canada.

In the most recent of decisions from the highest court concerning non-competition agreements and restrictive covenants, Payette v. Guay inc., 2013 SCC 45, released September 12, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that non-competition agreements negotiated in the context of a sale are different from non-competition agreements included in a simple employment agreement.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

If A Worker Falls in the Forest and No One is Around to See It, Does He Still Get WSIB Benefits?

What happens when an Ontario worker, covered by Ontario's workers' compensation program, gets hurt at work, but no one is around to witness it? Unfortunately, this question is all to relevant as more and more Ontario workers are asked to work alone in potentially dangerous situations.

In a decision released July 2, 2013 by the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the "WSIAT"), Decision 570/13, 2013 ONWSIAT 1423 (CanLII), the WSIAT affirmed the approach set-out in Decision 835/11 to deal with circumstantial evidence of proof of a workplace accident.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Ontario Superior Court Awards Human Rights Damages

After years of waiting, the first decision from an Ontario Superior Court judge to award damages pursuant to section 46.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code was published to CanLII on September 12, 2013. Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods Inc., 2013 ONSC 5799, a decision of the Honourable Mr. Justice A. Duncan Grace concerned a claim for wrongful dismissal damages plus a claim for damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code.