• 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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  • British Columbia Passes Legislation Recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a Statutory Holiday

    March 28, 2023

    by Andrew Peng

    On March 9, 2023, Bill 2, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Act, received royal assent. Bill 2 recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (“NDTR”) on September 30 of each year as a statutory holiday.

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  • Failure to Launch: A Cautionary Tale for Employers Arising from Chu v. China Southern Airlines Co. (c.o.b. China Southern Airlines), 2023 BCSC 21

    February 8, 2023

    by Brandon HillisJaime H. Hoopes

    The British Columbia Supreme Court recently issued a scathing decision that serves as a warning to all employers about what not to do when purporting to terminate an employee for just cause.

    Overall, the employer’s actions attracted $150,000 in aggravated, punitive and bad faith damages, approximately three times the value of the wrongful dismissal damages (i.e. severance) awarded.

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  • Spotlight on Section 64 – Group Terminations

    February 3, 2023

    by Paige Ainslie

    On January 6 and 9 2023, two unrelated decisions were released dealing with s. 64 (Group Terminations) of the BC Employment Standards Act (“ESA”).

    The first was a decision from the BC Supreme Court, which addressed an argument that a termination clause in the employment agreement of a non-union employee was unenforceable because it did not refer to the group notice requirements of s. 64.

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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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  • Significant Changes Coming in 2023 for BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

    December 6, 2022

    by Jordan Michaux

    The Provincial government has recently confirmed the latest in a series of long-anticipated and significant changes to BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). As of February 1, 2023, two new sections of FIPPA and associated regulations will come into force.

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  • Lessons from Selling Sunset, Part Three: Workplace Relationships

    December 5, 2022

    by Kate DueckMike Hamata

    What better way to end our three-part series on employment law lessons learned from watching Netflix’s Selling Sunset than to talk about romantic relationships in the workplace. As always, there are spoilers ahead.

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  • Expiry of Maximum Layoff Period Without Cause Termination: CERB Deducted from Damages

    November 30, 2022

    by Janna CrownMike Hamata

    Angelo Luna Nicolas was a long­-service employee at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, working as a house-person for 32 years with the hotel. He had a half-page letter confirming his employment, and it did not contain any language limiting or restricting severance or the notice period upon termination.

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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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  • Sex and Family Status Discrimination Substantiated by Employer’s Preference for Replacement Employee

    November 23, 2022

    by Jaime H. Hoopes

    In LaFleche v. NLFD Auto Ltd. dba Prince George Ford (No. 2), 2022 BCHRT 88, the BC Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) awarded $78,625 to a complainant after finding that she suffered a work-related disadvantage because she was pregnant.

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