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 […]

Ride the train of real-world design solutions

We designers typically start doing what we do once we have a clear idea of a problem that needs solving. These may be very tangible and public issues or they may be more vague and personal. But the addressing of a problem is what gets us moving toward an outcome: a result or solution. It provides us […]

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 […]

Figures of speech – let me design my own rules

I hate grammar. I really do. Just the mention of the word subjunctive puts me into a state of despair. I don’t want to know which is the predicate and which is the participle. Leave me alone. It is not that I am averse to the use of words and especially the effective use of […]

Ready for virtuous leadership. Hewers of wood

This was written in The Bible, about a both treacherous and captive people, (Joshua 9:21): Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water… Canadians have been referred to, and have referred to themselves, somewhat self-deprecatingly, for a long time, as hewers of wood and drawers of water. In part, […]

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 […]

Practical and pretty, buttons to boulevards

They are dressed in camo colours: splotches of tan and green and various shades of brown, and they are lined up along the sidewalks as we flash by in the cab. But no, fortunately, they are not armed. They are not even soldiers, although they have the correct upright posture. They are trees: plane trees, […]

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. […]

Old ways

Tradition can carry wisdom Design lessons are sometimes found in unlikely places and at unexpected times. All the good learning doesn’t happen in the classrooms. A very important experience occurred for me while I was a student, but not through a curricular lesson. As a non-funded student, I worked my way along, and, in 1970, […]