Resources: Health + Safety

  • Arbitrator Allows Religious-Based Exemption From Covid-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy

    April 11, 2023

    by Gabrielle Berron-Styan

    In the recent case of B.C. Rapid Transit Co. v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 7000 (Morzhakov Grievance), [2022] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 114 (Noonan), Arbitrator Randall Noonan held that an employer violated an employee’s rights under the B.C. Human Rights Code when it refused to grant a religious accommodation in relation to its COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy.

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  • Employer Must Take Meaningful Steps to Confirm Voluntary Resignation or Risk Paying Damages for Wrongful Dismissal

    January 25, 2023

    by Gabrielle Berron-Styan

    In the recent decision of Burd v. Tahtsa Timber Ltd., 2022 BCSC 1372, the BC Supreme Court confirmed that an employer cannot simply assume that an employee has voluntarily resigned from his or her employment. Rather, the employer must take meaningful steps to confirm that the employee has in fact resigned.

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  • ‘Tis the Season to Avoid Folly: Treats and Tidbits for a Successful Christmas or Holiday Party

    November 28, 2022

    by James D. Kondopulos

    Employers that organize and host Christmas or holiday parties and similar work-related social events have a number of legal responsibilities. They can be held liable for not taking adequate precautions to protect their employees from foreseeable and preventable harm.

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  • Arbitrator Confirms Precautionary Approach Appropriate in Times of Scientific Uncertainty

    October 26, 2022

    by Jennifer Hogan

    On July 11, 2022, Arbitrator Randy Noonan released his decision in Coca Cola Canada Bottling Inc. -and- Teamsters Local 213, B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 69 (Noonan).  It concerned the reasonableness of Coca Cola’s mandatory vaccination policy (the “Vaccination Policy”). Although the policy is a national one, the dispute before the arbitrator related to the unionized hourly employees working out of four sites in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

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  • BC Supreme Court Weighs in on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

    September 29, 2022

    by Danny BernsteinAndrew Peng

    On September 27, 2022, the BC Supreme Court released its decision in Parmar v. Tribe Management Inc., 2022 BCSC 1675 (“Parmar”). This is the first time the BC Supreme Court has directly weighed in on the validity of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies in non-unionized workplaces and was a much-awaited decision for many employers and employees in British Columbia who are involved in similar litigation.

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  • Refusal of Unsafe Work

    September 27, 2022

    by Mike HamataAndrew Nicholl

    The right to refuse unsafe work is one of the core protections extended to workers in BC by Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (“OHS Regulation”) pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act (the “WCA”). Effective August 22, 2022 amendments to Part 3 of the OHS Regulation introduced new employer responsibilities relating to the reassignment of work following a refusal of unsafe work.

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  • Lessons from Selling Sunset, Part One: Work Parties

    August 29, 2022

    by Kate DueckMike Hamata

    Before we launch into our three-part series on employment law lessons learned from watching Netflix’s Selling Sunset, we note that there are spoilers ahead, so proceed accordingly.

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  • There’s an App for That!

    April 5, 2022

    by Janna Crown

    Many of us use applications (apps) in our daily lives – but what happens when an employer uses an app to manage its workforce?

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  • Is a Complainant No Longer Required to Show that Conduct was “Objectively Unwelcome” to Substantiate a Claim of Sexual Harassment?

    March 31, 2022

    by Gabrielle Berron-Styan

    In the recent decision of Ms. K. v. Deep Creek Store and another, 2021 BCHRT 158, the BC Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) declined to follow a long line of human rights case law which requires a complainant to show that conduct was “objectively unwelcome” to substantiate a claim of sexual harassment.

    This decision represents a break from the established jurisprudence and should be of interest to employers faced with a claim of sexual harassment in the workplace.

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  • Clarification to Law of Employee Surveillance

    March 2, 2022

    by Kate DueckJordan Michaux

    Elevator law, according to one colleague and despite our best attempts to intervene, has its ups and downs. It has a unique set of characteristics, including its own elevator union (the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)), industry-specific collective agreements and a workforce of largely independent technicians.

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