Insights

Saskatchewan Amends Essential Services Legislation After Supreme Court Decision

On November 10, 2015, the Government of Saskatchewan passed Bill 183, The Saskatchewan Employment (Essential Services) Amendment Act, 2015 (the “Act”). ..

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Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Claims of Constructive Dismissal

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada addressed the issue of whether and in what circumstances a non-unionized employee who is suspended with pay may claim to have been constructively dismissed. The Court outlines the proper approach to analyzing such a claim. ..

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Social Media and the Workplace: When Inappropriate Facebook and Twitter Posts can Result in Employee Termination

In Kim v International Triathlon Union, the British Columbia Supreme Court considered for the first time an employee dismissal matter involving both Facebook and Twitter posts. The plaintiff was a senior communications manager with the International Triathlon Union (ITU) whose duties involved issuing press releases, overseeing the social media accounts and attending various triathlon events. The plaintiff claimed she was suddenly dismissed without cause and provided with only two weeks salary. ITU claimed her behavior was insubordinate for months before her termination and in part had to do with her unprofessional social media communications about ITU and other triathlon events. ..

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The Right to Strike: the Supreme Court of Canada sets a Saskatchewan Labour Law Precedent

In a precedent-setting decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has found that Saskatchewan’s essential-services legislation is unconstitutional. The Court’s five-two decision in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan found that The Public Service Essential Services Act (PSESA) violates Section 2(s) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, this judgment is most likely to be cited and remembered because, for the first time in Canada, a constitutional right to strike was recognized. The decision was written by Justice Abella, with Chief Justice McLachlin and Justices LeBel, Cromwell and Karakatsanis concurring (Justice Rothstein and Wagner wrote a dissenting opinion). ..

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Supreme Court of Canada Provides Further Guidance Regarding Notice Requirements

The Supreme Court of Canada has answered an interesting question: When an employee provides notice that they plan to quit their job, can their employer terminate their employment without providing proper notice? In Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v Asphalte Desjardins inc., the Court answered the question in the negative, finding that terminating a worker’s employment within the notice period provided by the employee requires the employer to provide notice or pay in lieu. ..

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Supreme Court of Canada Provides Further Guidance Regarding Notice Requirements


The Supreme Court of Canada has answered an interesting question: When an employee provides notice that they plan to quit their job, can their employer terminate their employment without providing proper notice? In Quebec (Commission des normes du travail) v Asphalte Desjardins inc., the Court answered the question in the negative, finding that terminating a worker’s employment within the notice period provided by the employee requires the employer to provide notice or pay in lieu. ..

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When Can Employees in the Hospitality/Retail Sector be Terminated for Theft?

The Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench overturned an Arbitration Board’s ruling which originally held the University of Saskatchewan (“University”) was unreasonable in its decision to terminate three employees who had committed theft. In University of Saskatchewan v Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1975, the Court quashed the decision of the Board and ruled the matter to be returned to a new grievance process, including an order appointing new members to the Board. ..

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Recent Amendments to the Canada Labour Code

On April 1, 2014, amendments to the Canadian Labour Code (“Code”) came into force. The Code represents the minimum labour standards for federally regulated industries. These changes simplify an employer ability to be in compliance with the code. ..

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Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations Changes the Employer's Requirements When Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers

As of December 31, 2013, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations associated with hiring temporary foreign workers (“TFW”) changed. The main thrust of these changes is to allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) officers greater powers to verify compliance with TFW requirements, greater oversight to the employer’s treatment of TFW, and greater abilities to impose corrective action. Also, these amendments change the document retention schedules for employers.  ..

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Employee Dismissal Damages and Defined Benefits Pension Plans

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada has provided some clarity regarding the sum an employee may be entitled to if he or she is awarded damages in a claim for wrongful dismissal. In Waterman v. IBM Canada Ltd. the Court held that if an employee is entitled to defined pension plan benefits, that amount of those benefits should not be deducted from an award for damages for payment in lieu of notice. The Court reasoned that defined pension plan benefits are not a replacement of lost wages, as the employee contributed to the plan throughout his or her years of service. ..

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