Canadian Employment Law Today

February 24, 2021

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM41261516 Navigating the next normal PG.4 Key HR law trends for 2021 and how employers can address them AN ALBERTA car dealership discriminated against a worker with an alcohol addiction when it fired him for reporting to work drunk and disrupting the workplace, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal has ruled. The worker was a commission salesperson at an Ed - monton car dealership called Gateway Motors. When he was hired, he told Gateway that he didn't have a driver's licence because of an alcohol-related driving offence. The worker had no issues during his first several months with Gateway, with no discipline or perfor - mance issues. He believed that he was "an excellent salesperson at the top of the company," although Gateway's owner felt that he was average. About seven months after he started with Gateway, the worker began drinking heavily. His wife drove him to and from work each day and he was unable to stay sober, usually arriving at work intoxicated. It continued to get worse, to the point where he was vis - ibly drunk and smelling of alcohol by the end of the workday. A colleague at Gateway told the worker one day that she could smell alcohol on him after he came back WITH THE rise of the twin dragons of both worry and denial relating to COVID-19, Canadian employers have found themselves having to tackle novel disciplinary issues ranging from refusals to stay home pending employer direction to the contrary, failure to follow proper COVID-19 protocols and procedures and challenges to the bona fides of employer policies. While upholding disciplinary measures in unionized sectors is not an unusual challenge for employers, some recently reported arbitral decisions would appear to suggest that labour arbitrators may have a lesser inclination to exercise leniency when faced with misconduct directly related to COVID-19. In the recent Ontario arbitration decision Trillium Health Partners v. CUPE Local 5180, an February 24, 2021 Mean-spirited firing gets B.C. worker more than $60,000 PG.3 Delay in paying statutory entitlement, unenforceable termination provision, unfounded allegations all part of employer's bad-faith conduct EMPLOYERS on page 6 » CREDIT: CLAUDIO CARIDI iSTOCK CREDIT: ATAKAN iSTOCK WORKER PLANNED on page 7 » with Colin Gibson Alberta worker's impairment at work caused by disability Employer knew about alcohol problem but didn't consider accommodation before firing him Ask an Expert PG. 2 Employee working remotely from outside the province Disciplinary issues in the time of COVID-19 Workplace health and safety come into play when employees don't follow employer COVID-19 policies BY JEFFREY R. SMITH BY GIOVANNA DI SAURO

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