Expanded OHS obligations

By Cheryl A. Edwards and Jeremy Warning An incident in which a male spectator at a Toronto soccer match uttered a vulgar phrase into the microphone of a female television reporter has, again, generated intense public discussion regarding the issue of sexual harassment. This incident has added to the recent list of allegations of sexual […]

Weathering coroner’s inquests and fatality inquiries

  By Cheryl A. Edwards and Jeremy Warning Any employer experiencing a workplace fatality faces a multitude of legal issues. One aspect of managing in the aftermath receives little attention — an inquest or inquiry. One or the other may arise following any occupational health and safety charges or penalty. An inquest or inquiry could: […]

Revisions to the Canada Labour Code: danger redefined

by Jeremy Warning Although decried by organized labour, key amendments to Part II of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) came into effect on Oct. 31, 2014. These amendments change the definition of “danger” in the Code and provide expanded obligations for the workplace parties when an employee exercises the right to refuse dangerous work. Organized […]

Obligations for travelling

Out of sight, but not out of mind By Jeremy Warning Many workers are required to travel as part of their jobs. They may travel for sales trips, service calls, conferences, client meetings, or even accompanying students on field trips. Unfortunately, workers are sometimes injured while travelling. There have been a number recent examples of […]

Termination clauses: Benefits matter

By Jeremy Warning The July 7, 2014 decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Miller v. ABM Canada Inc., 2014 ONSC 4062 (CanLII), provides a reminder for employers that termination clauses in employment contracts will be strictly construed by the courts. Because such clauses represent an agreement to contract out of an employee’s right […]

Constructive dismissal

Changing an employee’s job By Jeremy Warning   Kenneth Farwell was a long-serving employee of General Coach Canada – a name through which Citair, Inc. carried on business. At the relevant time, he had worked for the company for approximately 38 years and was 58-years-old. He also held the position of Operations Manager/Vice-President of Operations. […]

Is jail more likely?

­­Recent cases indicate new direction By Jeremy Warning Monetary penalties have been most commonly imposed on individ­u­als convicted of health and safety offences. That sentencing regime likely developed because regulatory offences are, generally, negligence-based offences rather than intent-based offences. However, some recent decisions suggest that a shift away from monetary penalties as the typical sanction […]

Reprisal firings

When complaints are punished By Jeremy Warning and Cheryl A. Edwards On November 22, 2013, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“the Board”) released its decision in the Ljuboja v. The Aim Group Inc. and General Motors of Canada Limited, (“AIM”). The Board has potentially signalled a new way to approach the concept of reprisal under […]

New rules

Occupational health and safety training By Jeremy Warning and Ryan Edmonds In early December 2010 the report of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety (the “Dean Panel”) set out 46 detailed recommendations to change the occupational health and safety system in Ontario. The Ontario government was quick to accept the Dean Panel’s […]

Death sentences

Criminalization of workplace accidents By Jeremy Warning On Sept. 4, 2013, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its decision in the sentence appeal in R. v. Metron Construction Corporation. Government prosecutors had appealed against the $200,000 fine imposed on Metron for a charge of criminal negligence causing death. The Court rejected the lower penalty […]