Canadian Employment Law Today

August 16, 2017

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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Canadian Employment Law Today | 3 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 Cases and Trends Worker's firing following work refusals upheld Attitude and reorganization were reasons for worker's dismissal, not his work refusals and safety complaints: Court BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A NOVA SCOTIA company has won an appeal to overturn a reinstatement order for an employee it said was fired for legitimate business reason, not the employee's safety complaints and work refusals. Herbert Jewers was a maintenance mechanic for DSM Nutritional Products, a supplier of vitamins and nutritional solutions in Mulgrave, N.S. He was hired in December 2012. DSM took safety seriously and took multiple measures to ensure its workplace was as safe as possible. e company gathered statistics, studied best practices, compared results with its multi-national operations, and regularly updated safety policies and practices. Jewers and other employees were trained on company safety policies, which included a standard procedure on work refusals. If an employee refused work because of hazardous conditions, the employee was to fill out a form and discuss it with her supervisor and the joint occupational health and safety committee. Jewers complained on several occasions about how DSM's "lock out, tag out, try out" (LOTOTO) procedures specified in the company's safety policies were applied. ese procedures were required by the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). He also had problems with other safety issues, but the LOTOTO issues were his biggest concern, to the point where he invoked his right to refuse work due to dangerous conditions under the OHSA. Jewers refused to work on May 3, 2016, over the LOTOTO procedures and did so again for the same reason the next day. DSM investigated on both occasions and each time another employee was assigned to complete the work. However, Jewers refused to fill out the necessary forms, didn't want to discuss the issues, and said "It's not my job to fix it." Jewers eventually returned to work and, though the issue was resolved informally, he continued to raise safety concerns. Worker didn't participate in work refusal follow-ups A little more than two months later, on EMPLOYEE'S on page 9 ยป STAY ON TOP OF THE LATEST TRENDS IN HR VISIT HRREPORTER.COM TODAY Featuring a blend of breaking news, in-depth analysis and opinion from industry experts, is a go-to resource for the human resources community.

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