Case Law Updates

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Safety and Accommodation: Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal

by Erin Brandt. In a workplace human rights case decided earlier this year (Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal), the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that an Alberta employer’s firing of an employee following an on-site accident and a positive drug test was not a discriminatory act. Apparently key to the SCC’s decision was the fact […]

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Saadati: Mental Health is Fundamental

By Richard Johnson. On June 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its unanimous ruling in Saadati v. Moorhead, which drastically altered the manner in which Canadian courts assess damages for mental injuries suffered by a plaintiff. Background – History of the Case The context of the case was a car accident in New […]

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Styles: Setting the Record Straight on Honesty and Good Faith

By Samantha Stepney, Lawyer. Over the past several years, the general organizing principles of “good faith” and “honesty” in contractual performance as set out in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision of Bhasin v. Hrynew have received much attention from employment lawyers. One argument that has been considered is whether certain contractual terms (most often […]

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Focus on Fairness: Garcia v. Tahoe Resources

By Erin Brandt. What happens when a Canadian company is accused of human rights violations in a foreign jurisdiction? A recent British Columbia court ruling suggests that businesses with overseas operations may soon be subject to increased scrutiny from Canadian courts. In theory, an individual alleging human rights abuses would take legal action in the […]

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The Power of a Well-Written Bonus Plan: Bois v. MD Physician Services

By Richard Johnson. A recent decision from the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice serves as a strong reminder to both employers and employees about the importance of well-drafted written employment terms. The terms at issue in Bois v. MD Physician Services Inc. related to the plaintiff’s bonus, and meant the difference between a significant incentive payment […]

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Logan v. Numbers Cabaret Ltd.: A Lighter Burden for Employers?

By Samantha Stepney, Lawyer. When faced with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit from a former employee, one strategy employers use to reduce severance liability is to argue that the worker failed to mitigate her losses (i.e. by getting a new job). Traditionally, however, Canadian employment law has placed a heavy burden on an employer wanting to […]

Trevor Kent Employment Law

Sustainable Contracting: Cheong v. Grand Pacific Travel & Trade

By Trevor Thomas, Lawyer. The recent decision in Cheong v. Grand Pacific Travel & Trade is a sobering reminder to employers of the importance of taking a transparent, clear and collaborative approach when contracting with your employees – and what can happen when you don’t. The case involved a failed attempt by an employer to […]

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Dependent Contractors and “Exclusivity”: Keenan v. Canac Kitchens

By Trevor Thomas, Lawyer. An individual’s relationship with an employer generally falls into one of three categories: employee, dependent contractor, or independent contractor. Determining the correct category is important because employees and dependent contractors are entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice on dismissal; this is not necessarily true for independent contractors. However, […]

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