Resources: Health + Safety

  • Dealing With Employees Who Deny Unfitness To Work

    March 2018

    by Michael Wagner

    A roadmap for dealing with disabled employees who are unfit for active employment, but who deny being unfit, is detailed in Kelfor Industries Ltd. v. United Steelworkers, Local 2009 ([Grievor] Medical Leave and Termination Grievances) (November 21, 2017 – unreported at time of writing) (Lanyon).

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  • A Crack in the Dam? Merrifield v. Attorney General (Ont.) and the Undead Tort of Harassment

    October 2017

    by Gavin Marshall

    For many years, workplace law has generally proceeded on the assumption that remedies for harassing behaviour and civil “harassment” were, except in rare cases, outside the purview of the courts. Harassment, as a civil wrong, had developed within the administrative structure of human rights tribunals and grievance processes under collective agreements but there was no generally recognized common law “tort” of harassment.

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  • Justifying Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

    October 2017

    by Graeme McFarlane

    In a unanimous decision released Sept 28, 2017, the Alberta Court of Appeal (“ABCA”) upheld a judicial review decision which found that the majority of a grievance arbitration panel (“Majority Panel”) had improperly decided that Suncor’s random drug and alcohol testing policy was unenforceable.

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  • Right to Refuse Unsafe Work – Federal Developments

    March 2017

    by Gregory J. HeywoodJennifer Hogan

    In BC, a worker has a right to refuse work if he/she “has reasonable cause to believe that to do so would create an undue hazard to the health and safety of any person” pursuant to Section 3.12(1), of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations. There is no general definition of the term “danger” in the OHS Regulations.

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  • Maintaining Privilege Over An Employer’s Internal Accident Investigation

    October 2016

    by Alissa Demerse

    A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench underscores the importance of taking early steps to retain legal counsel to assist employers with serious workplace accidents. In Alberta v. Suncor Energy Inc, 2016 ABQB 264, certain documents and records created or collected during an accident investigation were protected by litigation and solicitor-client privilege where legal counsel made decisions with respect to the accident investigation within hours of the event.

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  • When Does Inter-Personal Conflict Become a “Significant Work-Related Stressor”?

    July 2016

    by Thomas A. Roper K.C.

    It is often difficult to determine whether personal harassment, rudeness or simple bad manners meets the threshold of a “significant work related stressor” potentially qualifying the target of such behaviour for Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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  • Domestic violence in the workplace – not just the NHL’s problem

    December 2015

    Sadly, it is far too common that we hear of news headlines involving professional athletes charged or convicted of assaulting their partners or spouses, e.g. “Kings Defenseman Voynov Suspended Indefinitely”, and “TSN Analyst Aaron Ward Arrested.”

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  • The Duty to Accommodate Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

    August 2015

    by Brandon Hillis

    Across North America, attitudes towards marijuana use, both recreational and medical, are changing quickly. To the south of our border, several U.S. states, including Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, have legalized the recreational use of cannabis.

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