Resources: Employment

  • The BC Human Rights Commissioner Weighs in on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

    August 6, 2021

    by S. BlancoChristopher Munroe

    As vaccination rates increase, and the province continues to progress through each phase of its reopening plan, one of the biggest questions facing employers is whether to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees and, in some cases, customers. This is a complex and highly context-specific question that engages human rights issues, privacy issues, and workplace safety considerations.

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  • COVID-19-Related Misconduct is Nothing to Sneeze At

    July 29, 2021

    by Rebecca Klass

    In a decision issued on May 10, 2021[1], Arbitrator Paul Love dismissed a discipline grievance related to COVID-19-related misconduct.  The discipline was issued at a time when, in the words of the arbitrator, “there was a dearth of arbitral jurisprudence” with respect to such misconduct.

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  • Paid COVID-19 Leave Now, and Paid Sick Leave in 2022

    May 28, 2021

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    Bill 13 Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021 (“Bill 13”) received Royal Assent on May 20, 2021. Bill 13 is an amendment to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) and does two things:

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  • WorkSafeBC Decisions Provide Clarification Regarding Employer Actions Related to COVID-19 Safety

    April 29, 2021

    by Justin D. Wong

    Two recent WorkSafeBC cases provide guidance regarding unacceptable worker actions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and related health and safety issues. Both cases dealt with prohibited action complaints brought by a dismissed worker against a former employer under sections 47 to 50 of the B.C. Workers Compensation Act.

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  • Employee Reinstated Despite “Ongoing Pattern of Disrespect” for Employer’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols

    March 2021

    by Brandon Hillis

    Previously printed in the LexisNexis Labour Notes Newsletter. 

    In the recent decision of Trillium Health Partners v. CUPE, Loc. 5180, 2021 CanLII 127 (Jesin), an Ontario arbitrator, Norm Jesin, reinstated an employee to employment after he was suspended and subsequently discharged for failing to adhere to the employer’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

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  • COVID-19 Update – March 26, 2020 – B.C. Bulletin

    March 2020

    by S. BlancoGabrielle Scorer

    On the morning of March 26, 2020, Premier John Horgan and Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, announced the provincial government would use extraordinary powers available pursuant to the Emergency Program Act to ensure a coordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government.  This memorandum addresses this major development in the COVID-19 crisis which will be of significance to employers operating in B.C.


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  • Mind Your Manners: B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Orders Complainant to Pay $3,000 in Punitive Costs for Improper Conduct in the Complaint Process

    January 10, 2024

    by Sarina Gill

    In Dr. A. v. Health Authority, 2023 BCHRT 10, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ordered the complainant, Dr. A, to pay $3,000 in punitive costs for contravening the rules and orders of the Tribunal and also for engaging in improper conduct during the complaint process.

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  • No Evidence that ‘Contact High’ is a Disability: B.C. Tribunal

    December 15, 2023

    by S. Blanco

    In Gendron v. Koppert Canada Ltd., 2023 BCHRT 173 the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (the Tribunal) dismissed a complaint from an individual who alleged that she experienced a “contact high” from cannabis plants. The Tribunal held that the complainant failed to provide any evidence capable of proving that the symptoms she was experiencing were the result of a disability. As a result, the complaint had no reasonable prospect of success and did not warrant the time and expense of a hearing.

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  • No Free Lunch: Just Cause Dismissal Upheld in the Case of Misconduct and the Employee’s Dishonesty in the Investigation of that Misconduct

    December 5, 2023

    by Norika Takacs-Rehm

    In Mechalchuk v. Galaxy Motors (1990) Ltd., 2023 BCSC 635, the B.C. Supreme Court upheld the just cause dismissal of an employee who had: (1) submitted receipts which he suggested to be business-related but he knew to be personal expenses; and (2) perpetuated his dishonesty during the employer investigation which ensued.

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  • Right to Union Representation During an Investigation Process

    October 24, 2023

    by Delayne Sartison K.C.

    In Vancouver (City) Fire and Rescue Services v. Vancouver Firefighters’ Union, [2022] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 85 (Saunders), Arbitrator Ken Saunders considered an employee’s right to union representation during an investigation process, including the right to remain silent pending the provision of representation.

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