December 11, 2014

As the year comes to a close, you tend to find a lot of retrospective articles looking back on the best albums or scandals of the year. Lawyers are not immune to this trend so here’s a list from Cassels Brock of the top 10 labour and employment law trends from 2014:

HRM Online ponders whether Canada is moving closer to a ban on genetic discrimination:

“As personalized genetic testing hits the mainstream, what companies do with that information is of growing concern,” says William Wolfe-Wylie. Insurance brokers are already utilizing genetic testing as a way of denying coverage to “high-risk” individuals and without proper regulations there’s nothing to stop other industries abusing it too.

Imagine looking at a candidate’s CV and considering how at risk they are of cancer, how disposed they are to flu or even, perhaps most ominously, if they’re likely to develop dementia? That’s exactly what the bill hopes to ban.

Henry Chang on First Reference runs down the Ministerial Instructions released earlier this month relating to the proposed expressed entry system for Citizenship and Immigration. Looks like a fun time to be an immigration lawyer:

The temporary foreign workers in Fernie, BC who narced on their employer and who became the catalyst for many of the changes to the foreign worker program over the past year are now facing possible deportation. Their work permits have expired and renewals aren’t possible thanks to the changes they helped bring about:

I received correspondence yesterday from the Employment Standards Commission in Alberta. Our client was appealing to an umpire an order issued by an Employment Standards Officer in a messy dispute over unpaid wages. The letter said that appeals are presently being scheduled for 18 to 24 months from the date the appeal is received. Given the fact that the employee will be without compensation for allegedly unpaid wages and the employer will have the appeal deposit (which is the amount of the order PLUS 10%) tied up this whole time, the entire process seems inherently unfair to both parties. It’s no surprise, then, that immediately sharing that bit about the scheduling of appeals, the letter goes on to encourage settlement.

Yosie Saint-Cyr writes over at about a recent case from the Alberta Human Rights Commission dealing with the employee’s obligation to participate in the accommodation process:

Employees must participate in their employer’s accommodation process, even where that process has not produced satisfactory results. In the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal case of Perera v. St. Albert Day Care Society, Theresa Perera found this out the hard way when, due to a disabling injury, she refused to perform the work she was assigned and her employer terminated her for insubordination. However, the tribunal found Perera’s injury was a factor in the termination, and therefore the termination was discriminatory. Nonetheless, the insubordination made reinstatement impossible.

More on the challenges faced by the independent investigator tasked with investigating the Ghomeshi matter at the CBC:


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