Resources: Health + Safety

  • Update on Five Paid Sick Days Under Employment Standards Act

    January 26, 2022

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    The New Year brought employers in British Columbia a requirement to provide their employees with five paid sick (illness or injury) days. Since the requirement came into effect on January 1, 2022, we have been fielding questions about the implementation of the five paid sick days in the workplace. Below we highlight some of our more frequently asked questions.

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  • Arbitrators Consider Vaccination Policies

    December 7, 2021

    by Kate DueckChristopher Munroe

    In the past few weeks, arbitrators have begun to issue decisions considering the reasonableness of COVID-19 vaccination policies in unionized workplaces. The following three decisions out of Ontario provide some key takeaways for employers.

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  • ESA: Five Days Paid Personal Illness or Injury (Sick) Leave, as of January 1, 2022

    November 25, 2021

    by Michael R. Kilgallin

    On May 28, 2021 we issued an update regarding Bill 13 Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021 (“Bill 13”), which amended the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”).  Bill 13 added temporary paid COVID leave (ending December 31, 2021) and added paid leave for personal illness or injury commencing January 1, 2022 (“Paid Sick Leave”), with the amount of days to be determined.

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  • Vaccination Status and the “New Normal”

    August 13, 2021

    by Drew DemerseChristopher Munroe

    As governments and businesses seek to avoid closures that have so heavily impacted the economy and everyday life, many are looking to vaccine passports and/or considering mandatory vaccination in the workplace to facilitate a return to “normal” operations.

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  • 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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