Resources: Health + Safety

  • Accessible British Columbia Act

    June 29, 2021

    by James D. Kondopulos

    The Accessible British Columbia Act (the “Act”) received royal assent on June 17, 2021.

    The new legislation requires government and prescribed organizations to establish an accessibility committee for the purpose of identifying, removing and preventing barriers which hinder the full and equal participation in society of persons with disabilities.

    Read More +

  • 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:

    Read More +

  • Record-Setting Damages Awarded by B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Following Racial Discrimination

    May 19, 2021

    On January 28, 2021, the former Chair of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Diana Juricevic, issued her decision respecting remedy after finding that the Government of British Columbia discriminated and retaliated against a corrections officer contrary to the B.C. Human Rights Code (the “Remedy Decision”).

    Read More +

  • Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

    May 17, 2021

    Employers often face unique challenges when dealing with employees who suffer from mental health issues. This article highlights the essential points of an employer’s duty to accommodate employees with mental disabilities in the workplace.

    Read More +

  • 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.

    Read More +

  • Hot Mic Catches Ref Offside

    April 19, 2021

    by Mike Hamata

    In March, referee Tim Peel was captured on a hot mic boasting about calling a penalty because he “wanted to.” In less than 24 hours, Peel’s employment with the National Hockey League (NHL) had been terminated. In its statement, the NHL said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the integrity of our game.”

    Read More +

  • 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.

    Read More +

  • Discharge Upheld for Employee Who Violated Employer’s COVID-19 Policies

    March 2, 2021

    by Maggie Campbell

    In Labourers’ International Union of North America, Loc. 183 v. AECON Industrial, 2020 CanLII 91950 (ON LA) (Carrier), the discharge of an employee who attended work after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and contrary to his employer’s direction was upheld.  This decision offers a firm rebuke against conduct which potentially puts other employees at risk of contracting the virus, and provides employers with strong support for issuing significant discipline in response to that kind of misconduct.

    Read More +

  • The Test for Toxicity: What Constitutes a Poisoned Workplace?

    February 16, 2021

    by James D. Kondopulos

    With the recent report of a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall and the subsequent resignation of former Governor General Julie Payette, the issue of what constitutes a poisoned workplace is front of mind for many employers. When are interpersonal tensions and conflict between colleagues “normal”?  When do they rise to the level of “toxic” and trigger rights to legal recourse and remedies?

    Read More +

  • Arbitrator Upholds Discharge of Employee with Tobacco Addiction for Smoking at Work

    February 12, 2021

    by James D. Kondopulos

    In a recent B.C. case, West Fraser Mills Ltd. v. Northern Interior Woodworkers’ Assn. (Souter Grievance), [2020] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 85 (Glass), an arbitrator upheld the discharge of an employee with a severe tobacco use disorder for smoking on site contrary to the employer’s policies.

    Read More +