• Court Rules Employment Contract Not Frustrated by COVID-19 Pandemic: Employer Ordered to Pay $64,000 in Damages for Wrongful Dismissal

    September 19, 2023

    by Gabrielle Berron-Styan

    Fanzone v. 516400 B.C. Ltd. o/a Shady Tree Neighbourhood Pub, 2022 BCSC 2089 is the latest decision of the B.C. Supreme Court to consider the doctrine of frustration of contract in the context of a wrongful dismissal claim arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • Doctrine of Res Judicata: Applied with Reference to the Context

    September 6, 2023

    by Sabrina Anis

    In the recent case of Kurik v. CAS Ventures Ltd, 2023 BCSC 488, the B.C. Supreme Court considered the doctrine of res judicata in the context of related claims – one being pursued in the courts and the other having already been pursued before the B.C. Employment Standards Tribunal. The Court ultimately declined to strike the pleadings on the basis of res judicata, and allowed the civil claim to continue.

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  • Interpreting Section 64 of the BC Employment Standards Act: When Does Termination Occur for Employees With Recall Rights?

    August 28, 2023

    by Paige Ainslie

    On January 9, 2023, the BC Labour Relations Board released its decision in the matter of Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (MacKenzie Wood Products Division) -and- Pulp, Paper and Woodworkers of Canada, Loc. No. 18, 2023 BCLRB 5.  The Board overturned the award of Arbitrator Nicholas Glass issued on May 10, 2021 (the “Award”), in which it had been found that employees laid off as the result of the closure of Canfor’s lumber mill in Mackenzie, BC were entitled to group termination pay under section 64 of the BC Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”).

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  • Employer Response to Racial Slur Found Reasonable by Human Rights Tribunal

    August 11, 2023

    by Pamela Costanzo

    A recent BC human rights case demonstrates the importance of employers taking meaningful action in response to complaints of racial harassment.

    In Raul Martinez Johnson v. Whitewater Concrete Ltd. and Matias Pacheco and Miguel Pacheco and Nicolas Pacheco (No. 2), 2022 BCHRT 129, the employer’s response to a complaint eliminated an award of lost wages, despite a finding of discrimination.

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  • Employer Not Vicariously Liable for Claim of Defamation Brought by Former Unionized Employee

    June 29, 2023

    by Katie Comley

    In Pereira v. Dexterra Group Inc., 2022 BCSC 1481, the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed a claim of defamation brought by a unionized employee in respect of conduct occurring before and after the termination of her employment.

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  • Amendments to BC ESA Require All Employers to Provide National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Regardless of Collective Agreement Language

    May 16, 2023

    by Brandon Hillis

    On March 9, 2023 and as summarized in a previous article, the Provincial Government of British Columbia passed Bill 2, which recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (“NDTR”) on September 30th of each year as a statutory holiday. At the time, we advised that for employers with a unionized workplace, the effect of Bill 2 would vary based on collective agreement language, as statutory holidays are subject to a ‘meet or exceed’ test under the B.C. Employment Standards Act.

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  • Ontario Court of Appeal Finds School Board Breached Section 8 of the Charter When Disciplining Grievors for Personal Document Left Open on School Computer

    May 15, 2023

    by Teodora Bardas

    In Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario v. York Region District School Board, 2022 ONCA 476, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that a school principal and the school board for which he worked had breached the employee right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) when the principal went through a teacher’s personal document on a school laptop.

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  • Show Me The Money

    May 5, 2023

    by Janna Crown

    British Columbia’s Minister of Finance introduced Bill 13, the Pay Transparency Act on March 7, 2023 (“Bill 13”). Bill 13 received its third reading in the BC legislature on April 25, 2023 and received Royal Assent on May 11, 2023 with the exception of section 2 of the Act, which will pass into law on November 1, 2023. Regulations are expected to be drafted over the summer of 2023.

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  • Modern Family (Status): Court of Appeal Clarifies Test for Family Status Discrimination in B.C.

    April 24, 2023

    by Janna CrownBrandon HillisJaime H. HoopesJames D. Kondopulos

    A five-justice division of the B.C. Court of Appeal has just issued an important, unanimous decision on the applicable test to address claims of discrimination in employment with respect to family status (caregiving obligations).

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  • Just Cause “Cancellation”?

    April 18, 2023

    by Rebecca Klass

    Ever since the #MeToo movement, “cancel culture” has gained momentum, seeking to hold individuals accountable for abuses of power as well as sexual harassment and assault – in both the past and present. The decision in Ottawa Jewish Community School Teachers’ Assn. v. Ottawa Jewish Community School (Cianni Grievance), 2022 O.L.A.A. No 113 (Tremayne) examines the trend of “cancelling” individuals for past misconduct in the context of a just cause termination.

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