Canadian Employment Law Today

December 1, 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 Ask an Expert PG. 2 Off-site harassment Taking the termination high road PG.4 Moral and punitive damages against employers who lack empathy or show maliciousness may be becoming more common AN INJURED Alberta worker who was laid off on his first day back on regular duties was discriminated against and harassed because of his physical disability, the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal has ruled. Pillar Resource Services is an oil and natural gas company based in Calgary. The company employed the worker as a pipefitter. On March 17, 2014, the worker slipped and fell while walking on some pipes, injuring his shoulder and elbow. He reported the injury to a safety officer, who told him to complete an accident work report and to visit a doctor the next day if he was still in pain. The next day, the worker was in pain but he still reported for work. The safety officer took him to a medical clinic, where the worker was diagnosed with a sprained shoulder. The worker returned to work and was assigned to picking up garbage, which fell within the medical restrictions identified by the doctor. How - ever, while picking up garbage, the worker slipped. He didn't fall, but he jerked his injured arm painfully. The day after that, March 19, the worker visited a different doctor and X-rays revealed a broken shoul - der. The doctor wrote a note stating that the worker A BRITISH Columbia worker who was temporarily laid off during the pandemic is entitled to 11 months' notice of termination, the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled. Ian Andrews, 61, was hired in 2006 by All - north Consultants, a multi-disciplinary engi- neering and construction services consulting company based in Vancouver, to be a senior mechanical designer. The position involved designing conveyors and material handling systems for pulp mills. He received no com - plaints about his job performance. On July 7, 2020, Allnorth sent a letter to An- drews indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly impacted its business. The de- cline in the company's workload made it nec- essary to reduce staff, so it was placing Andrews on temporary layoff, effective the next day. The December 1, 2021 Accommodation actions speak louder than words PG.3 Alberta employer took appropriate accommodation measures based on the information it had, regardless of doubts about worker's disability WORKER'S on page 7 » CREDIT: SITTHIPHONG iSTOCK EMERGENCYon page 6 » with Colin Gibson Injured Alberta worker laid off on first day back to regular duties Modified duties were within worker's medical restrictions, but discipline and termination were related to disability Pandemic layoff extension considered constructive dismissal Employer said temporary layoff would last maximum of 24 weeks, so worker didn't consent when Vancouver company wanted to extend it further BY JEFFREY R. SMITH BY JEFFREY R. SMITH

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