Resources: Health + Safety

  • Leading Labour and Workplace Law Cases of 2020

    January 12, 2021

    by James D. Kondopulos

    With the upheaval and significant challenges and difficulties of 2020, some important labour and workplace law cases may not have been front of mind for employers and HR practitioners.

    The following are what we consider to be among the top five cases of the last 12 to 18 months.

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  • Attention Federal Employers: The Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations Are Now In Effect

    January 11, 2021

    by Paige AinslieAlissa Demerse

    On January 1, 2021, the Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations, SOR/2020-130 came into force (“Regulations”), replacing Part XX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. The Regulations impose a number of new requirements on employers in the federal sector, some of which must be undertaken in order to develop and implement a Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy compliant with the Regulations.

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  • Update on the Legal Test for Post-Incident Alcohol and Drug Testing

    January 7, 2021

    In a series of recent arbitration decisions, Arbitrator Andrew Sims and Arbitrator David McPhillips have reviewed and clarified the legal test for post-incident alcohol and drug testing.

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  • Forum Selection Clauses

    November 12, 2020

    by Jennifer S. Russell

    Earlier this year, the BC Court of Appeal released Schuppener v. Pioneer Steel Manufacturers Ltd., 2020 BCCA 19, a decision which clarifies the law regarding forum selection clauses. Although not an employment or labour law decision, Schuppener is a case of particular relevance to employers which conduct business across provincial or international borders and want certainty as to the jurisdiction in which any litigation regarding those employment contracts will occur.

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  • Changes to the Workers Compensation Act Now in Effect

    August 19, 2020

    by Alissa Demerse

    Bill 23, which introduces significant changes to the Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”), received royal assent on August 14, 2020. The Act contains 34 provisions including changes relating to compensation, assessment, and occupational health and safety matters. Bill 23 was tabled by Minister of Labour, Harry Bains, on  July 14, 2020, and was previously discussed in our July 21,2020, update.

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  • B.C. Government Proposes Significant Changes to the Workers Compensation Act

    July 21, 2020

    by Julia BellAlissa Demerse

    On July 14, 2020, the Minister of Labour tabled Bill 23, Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act, 2020 which proposed a number of significant changes to the Workers Compensation Act, RSBC 2019, c. 1 (the “Act”).  The Act itself was already revised significantly earlier this year in an organizational revision which primarily reorganized the provisions and made minor alterations to wording.

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  • Refusal of Unsafe Work: Lessons Learned From SARS

    July 6, 2020

    by James D. Kondopulos

    As British Columbia moves from Phase 2 into Phase 3 of its Restart Plan, employees will increasingly be asked to return to work and resume work as before – subject of course to the requirements and recommendations of the government, public health authorities and WorkSafeBC.

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  • COVID-19 Update – March 27, 2020

    March 2020

    by Brandon HillisAndrew Nicholl

    On the morning of March 27, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a series of significant measures designed to help certain employers weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Finance also published a Backgrounder, which provides further detail on certain of these measures. While many of the key details are pending (we understand that further details are set to be released between now and Monday, March 30, 2020), employers should be aware of these measures, and start to consider how these measures may impact their plans as they continue to navigate these challenging times.

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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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  • COVID-19 Update – March 26, 2020 – Federal Bulletin

    March 2020

    by Ryan CopelandBrandon HillisAndrew Nicholl

    This bulletin addresses the new COVID-19 leave of absence of up to 16 weeks’ duration that is now included in the Canada Labour Code. The leave is available to employees of federally regulated employers who are unable or unavailable to work for reasons related to COVID-19.  There may be additional changes of interest to you in the amendments but a high-level summary of the new leave is set out below.

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