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 […]

Due diligence

A good story told through documents By Jeremy Warning It is commonly understood that a party charged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act can avoid liability by proving due diligence: all reasonable care to avoid the alleged contravention. In that regard, due diligence can be considered an explanation. It is a story that excuses […]

Unpaid work

Recently, Canadian media have been examining the experiences of people, often students or those at the very outset of their working careers, who work in unpaid positions as interns. It may come as no surprise but an unpaid position cannot be created simply by designating someone or a position as an intern. Nor can it […]

Compensation benefits

Risks of dismissing a worker By Daniel Mayer Dismissing a worker who is receiving loss of earnings (“LOE”) benefits from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) is fraught with risk. An employer might have just cause to terminate the worker’s employment, and might believe that LOE benefits will cease after termination, but there is […]

Ruling on car wash

Training and supervision By Jeremy Warning On November 30, 2012, the Ontario Court of Justice released its decision in R. v. 679052 Ontario Limited (c.o.b. as Auction Reconditioning Centre), 2012 ONCJ 747 (CanLII).The Auction Reconditioning Centre (“Company”) operated a business in which it cleaned automobiles at its facility in Milton, Ont. This cleaning service was […]

If remarks get offensive

Employers should resist knee-jerk reactions By Michelle MacGillivray If an employee has offensive opinions, and expresses these opinions publicly, there are steps an employer can take, but these situations must be approached with caution. Generally, an offensive remark is not enough to justify terminating an employee for just cause, either in unionized or non-unionized workplaces. […]

Christmas Eve tragedy

Criminalizing employer conduct By Jeremy Warning and Christina Hall Employers across Canada should be aware of the possible implications arising from the recent guilty plea to corporate criminal negligence charges by Metron Construction Corporation. The guilty plea was entered in an Ontario courtroom on July 13, 2012, and Metron was sentenced to pay a $200,000 […]