Canadian Employment Law Today

March 16, 2016

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 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian March 16, 2016 Safety violations demonstrate probationary employee's unsuitability AN ALBERTA employer had the right to dismiss a worker who was injured after not following safety procedure while still on pro- bation, an arbitrator has ruled. e worker, Nicholas Zerebeski, 23, was hired on March 18, 2013, by Telus Corporation to be a service technician- apprentice to do installation and repair work in central Alberta around Eckville, Alta. Between 40 and 60 per cent of the work was performed at heights on overhead telephone lines. Zerebeski took a 12-week training course to learn the ins and outs of his job, as well as riding along with another technician for a week. Part of the training included a one- week course on working aloft that went over equipment and safety procedures, in which Zerebeski did well because he had some climbing experience. Working aloft safety procedures included requirements for workers to tie themselves in with a body belt, harness with a bungie, and a ladder all secured to the cable or pole. At the end of a training week after which trainees would be dispersing to their own re- gions for some additional training, Zerebeski made a comment to his fellow trainees that included a slur against gay people. Zerebe- ski's manager spoke to him about it and he apologized to her and to the class when they met again. Trainees were supposed to work in the fi eld with experienced technicians for fi ve to six weeks before assuming their duties on their own. However, because Zerebeski did so well in his training and had previous ex- perience, he was allowed to begin working on his own after only two weeks shadowing another technician. Zerebeski worked on his own for about two weeks when, on July 22, 2013, he was as- signed to low-hanging telephone lines at a 'One size fi ts all' follow-up testing no good: Arbitrator Employer's follow-up testing for employees returning to work after testing positive for drugs or alcohol was reasonable but must allow for individualized treatment BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ONTARIO employer's drug policy that specifi ed random follow-up testing for employees returning to work after impair- ment at work was reasonable, but needed to be clarifi ed so not all such employees were treated the same, an arbitrator has ruled. e employer had a drug and alcohol policy that was intended to provide a safe workplace for employees and anyone else aff ected by its employees. e policy al- lowed employees who had tested positive for drugs or alcohol to return to work with follow-up tests. Once an employee who had previously tested positive obtained a nega- tive test result, she was required to comply with unannounced and random follow-up testing. is involved "at least six tests in the fi rst 12 months following the employee's return to the workplace," said the policy. Educational assistant wins mental stress benefi ts pg. 3 Frequent assaults by student were traumatic with Stuart Rudner CREDIT: THINGLASS/SHUTTERSTOCK I showed up for work, where's my parade? pg. 4 How employers can legally motivate employees who are resolute in their unproductivity ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Employee's participation in accommodation process DISMISSAL on page 7 » POLICY on page 6 »

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