Monday, November 30, 2009

The Supreme Court of Canada Rules Against Wal-Mart Workers

A move to unionize the massive Wal-Mart store chain was dealt a blow this morning when the Supreme Court of Canada voted 6-3 against workers at a Quebec outlet that attempted to unionize.

Mr. Justice Ian Binnie said for the majority that the workers could not avail themselves of a particular provision under the Quebec labour code which they had used to challenge the closure.

In stinging dissenting reasons, the three dissenting judges said that the majority ruling was overly-technical and that courts must be prepared to search out "anti-union animus" in cases that involve a closure.

Read the full article in the Globe and Mail

Read the decisions on CanLII:
Plourde v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2009 SCC 54 (CanLII)
Desbiens v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2009 SCC 55 (CanLII)

Workplace Bullying the fastest growing complaint in workplaces

Bullying is one of the fastest-growing complaints of workplace violence, according to the International Labour Office. It runs the gamut from extreme violence, even murder, to intimidation and snide remarks.

In Ontario, Bill 168, an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to workplace violence and harassment, has received first reading and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.

Read the article in The Toronto Star

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Judge awards caregiver $10,000 after recruiter failed to get her a job

A foreign caregiver brought to Canada with a job offer from a "ghost employer" has been awarded $10,000 in damages in what is believed to be the first court victory against a nanny recruiter.

See the article in Toronto Star

Friday, November 20, 2009

Woman Loses Long Term Sick Benefits Because of Facebook Photos

A Quebec woman on long-term sick leave is fighting to have her benefits reinstated after her employer's insurance company cut them, she says, because of photos posted on Facebook. Nathalie Blanchard, 29, has been on leave from her job at IBM in Bromont, Que., for the last year and a half after she was diagnosed with major depression.

Manulife wouldn't comment on Blanchard's case, but in a written statement sent to CBC News, the insurer said: "We would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook." It confirmed that it uses the popular social networking site to investigate clients

See the full story on the CBC

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Woman Fired Over Pregnancy Wins $35,000 in Rights Case

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario orders beauty salon to pay former worker damages

From the Toronto Star October 30, 2009

Jessica Maciel was four months pregnant when she started working as a
receptionist at the salon in August 2008. She didn't mention her pregnancy
during her job interview, knowing that if she divulged that information, she
wouldn't have gotten the job. There is no requirement under the Ontario's Human
Rights Code to advise prospective employers about a pregnancy.

Kate Sellars said Ontario's Human Rights Legal Support Centre, which
handled Maciel's case, receives about 40 calls per week from women facing
similar discrimination. "What happened to Jessica isn't unique, but it is
illegal," Sellars said. "It takes a lot of courage and conviction to see the
matter through. And she did that."

News article available:

Read the full decision on CanLII

Arrested While Delivering Newspapers Wins $5,000 Award

Sharon Abbott was out delivering newspapers to a west Toronto neighbourhood, a job she has held for 12 years when she was arrested. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found that race and gender played a role in her arrest by the Toronto Police.

Read the newspaper article.

Read the full decision on CanLII.