Canadian Employment Law Today

September 17, 2014

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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PM40065782 September 17, 2014 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian ohs problems for small employers in The year prior to March 31, 2014, Ontario labour inspectors visited new small businesses with fewer than 20 workers in the industrial sector in a health and safety blitz. A high number of orders issued refl ect the employers' failure to develop and implement a self-reliant internal responsibility system and a general lack of awareness and understanding for the OHSA responsibilities of workers, employers and supervisors. Many workplaces were also found not to have the required policies and programs to address prevention of workplace violence and harassment. IN SHORT is a drug-free workplace a thing of the past? pg. 3 Medical marijuana creates a buzz for employers with Brian Kenny Fired lifeguard thrown lifeline by arbitration board Worker was fi red after failure to return to work at end of leave; employer's denial of extension request was unreasonable: Board BY JEFFREY R. SMiTH A sAskATCHeWAn employer should not have terminated an employee who asked for an extension of leave while overseas, an arbi- tration board has ruled. Megan Mellquist, 19, was hired by Temple Gardens Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw, Sask., in early 2011. Lifeguards were employed by Temple Gardens to monitor the safety of cus- tomers who use the facility's outdoor min- eral water pool and spa. One lifeguard was required for every 50 people in the pool, so if there weren't enough lifeguards to stay within that ratio, the pool had to be closed. Temple Garden's collective agreement in- cluded a provision allowing employees with two years of employment to request a one- time unpaid leave of absence for the purpose of education upgrading or training, lasting up to one year. At least one month's notice was required to make such a request. An unpaid leave of absence "for legitimate personal rea- sons" lasting up to three months was also al- lowed, as long as the employee didn't work elsewhere. Granting such leaves was up to the discretion of Temple Gardens. In April 2013, Mellquist made a written supreme Court dismisses challenge to allocation of eI funds THe suPreMe COurT of Canada has dismissed an appeal by a pair of Quebec unions to force the federal government to transfer $57 billion raised through employ- ment insurance premiums into a new fund. Following the federal government's re- form of the employment insurance (EI) program in 1996 by enacting a new Employ- ment Insurance Act, two Quebec unions challenged the constitutionality of some of the provisions in the new EI act, which al- lowed annual EI surpluses to be reallocated by the federal government to cover its gen- eral expenses. e unions argued this was a misappropriation of funds meant for EI. e Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Dec. 11, 2008, that the 1996 EI act was con- stitutional, exception for those applied in 2002, 2003 and 2005, when the premiums were set by the Governor in Council — who didn't have tax-delegating authority. e court suspended a declaration of invalidity for 12 months to allow Parliament to amend the act. In the meantime, enough money was raised through EI premiums to accumulate a $57 billion surplus in the EI account by Jan. 1, 2009. In 2010, Parliament enacted the Jobs and Economic Growth Act, which provided for the closure of the EI account and the cre- ation of a new EI operating account. ere was no specifi cation that the money in the EI account was to be transferred to the new CRedit: oSoRioaRtiSt Major changes for specialized knowledge workers pg. 4 It's not so easy for foreign workers and their employers to avoid the LMO process by claiming specialized skills sUsPecTed on page 6 » ei accoUnT on page 7 » asK an eXPerT pg. 2 Keeping a harasser away • Outsider assault of employee

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