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Labour and Employment Law Archives

Employment law and the validity of harassment allegations

Workplace harassment has been a topic that was the subject of discussion in many British Columbia industries in recent months. Under employment law, employees have the right to safe workplace environments, but employers have the right to protection against groundless accusations of harassment. If bullying or harassment is present in the workplace, the employee must report it to the employer who must take the appropriate steps to address the issue. Both employers and employees may benefit from understanding what constitutes harassment. 

Employment law: Supreme court rules on discrimination

Following a claim of workplace discrimination in British Columbia, the Supreme Court of Canada ultimately ruled that such discrimination is possible even if the accused and the claimant are employees of different entities. According to employment law and human rights legislation, all individuals are protected against discrimination and insults. The case arose from a complaint filed by a civil engineer who worked on a road project who alleged discriminatory remarks were made by an employee of a contractor who was involved in the project.

Discrimination trial testing the boundaries of BC employment law

Canada is a country that promotes tolerance and respect in all aspects of life, including work. Certainly, no person deserves to be subjected to discrimination in the workplace for any reason. The definition of "workplace" is at the heart of a case from British Columbia that is currently before the Supreme Court of Canada. The ruling could have a major impact on employment law disputes in the future.

B.C. government amends labour law to exempt WHL from minimum wage

Each province in Canada sets its own minimum hourly wage for workers in that province. However, there are exceptions to this labour law in several provinces, including British Columbia. A local hockey league with teams across the province, including here in Vancouver, recently sought to become one of those exceptions.

Labour law evolving to encompass social media

Social media is a constant presence in the 21st century, both in the lives of private citizens and public corporations. People use it to connect with one another, and businesses use it to connect with consumers. The key to social media versus traditional media is the two-way dialogue it allows between companies and their customers. This can be both a positive and a negative situation, and a recent labour law case may change the way companies and their employees interact with social media platforms.

Workplace accident takes the life of British Columbia man

Employees who have spent decades on the job often become known and loved by many co-workers and customers. They may also be the ones younger, less experienced workers turn to for help and advice. Often, veteran workers are the employees that bosses can depend upon to know their jobs well and do their jobs correctly. In British Columbia, however, employees at a local shipping terminal are dealing with the loss of just such a co-worker in a recent workplace accident.

Supreme Court of Canada rules for federally regulated employee

On July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its highly anticipated decision interpreting the Canada Labour Code's provisions prohibiting unjust dismissal of nonunionized federally regulated employees. Specifically, the Supreme Court found that 1978 amendments to the Canada Labour Code (the "Code") require that when a federally regulated employer dismisses a nonunionized worker who has at least 12 continuous months of service, the employer is required to have just cause to do so. 

Will Canada ban genetic discrimination in employment?

Genetic testing is becoming more common. As this scientific field develops, testing methods and options continue to advance and can provide both interesting and important information about ancestry and medical conditions that are genetically linked. Of course, this important information can also be used by some interested parties for improper reasons. Recognizing this, some countries have introduced legislation in this area to protection this genetic data, including by protecting employees from discrimination at work based on gtheir enetic information. The United States and Australia are two examples of countries which have introduced legislation in this vein. 

Vancouver firefighter alleges race discrimination and harassment

The CBC reports that a 33-year-old man of El Salvadoran heritage who has lived in Canada since he was a boy has filed a human rights complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal alleging employment discrimination and harassment based on race in his former job as a Vancouver firefighter. Ironically, the alleged racial harassment by colleagues characterized him as Mexican and included the regular use of racial slurs and derogatory terms aimed at people of Mexican heritage. 

Introduction to section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code

The British Columbia Human Rights Code (the "Code") forbids discrimination in employment based on certain protected employee characteristics. Employees in BC who believe that they are the victim of employment discrimination may file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, a administrative tribunal which has exclusive jurisdiction over hearing human rights matters that arise in BC at first instance. Decisions of the Tribunal may be appealed to the BC Supreme Court by either the employee or the employer. 

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