December 16, 2014

One of my favourite blogs, Canadian Payroll Consulting by Alan McEwen, covers the topic of employee identity.

What would you do in this situation? You’re hiring an employee, where a valid driver’s licence is required. The company pays by direct deposit, so the applicant has provided a void cheque. You have asked, but the employee says his SIN card has been lost. The driver’s licence shows the person’s name as ‘Richard John Harris’ but the pre-printed bank cheque shows the account holder as ‘Jack Harris’.

Fist Reference Talks deals with how to respond to a frivolous human rights complaint by reviewing the case of Queen v. Pro Bono Law Ontario (2014 HRTO 1092):

The applicant sought the services of the respondent to launch a civil suit for wages allegedly owed to him for his reign as Her Majesty the Queen. The applicant has apparently changed his legal name to Her Majesty (first name) the Queen (last name). Although he identified himself to the Tribunal by his previous legal name, he has submitted documentation to the Tribunal that appears to confirm his change of legal name, including a document of name change issued under the Vital Statistics Act, dated March 20, 2014.

In the world of business immigration, Microsoft has raised the eyebrows of some as they have been granted a previously-unknown labour market impact assessment exemption meaning that the company will be permitted to bring in temporary foreign workers in British Columbia without first offering those jobs to Canadians:

Hat tip to Yosie St. Cyr for linking to this story yesterday. An employee of the Treasury Board brought a grievance against her employer after her request to work from home was rejected. The grievor alleged that her employer:

discriminated against her on the grounds of sex and family status when it refused her request to telework from home full time, Monday to Friday, for a year following the end of her year-long maternity leave in March 2013. She made the request because, as she put it in her grievance, she needed “… to change the way [she worked] because of breastfeeding.”

The Public Service Labour Relations Board considered the various tests from Johnstone, Hoyt and Cambpell River and ultimately decided that the grievor did not demonstrate prima facie discrimination on the basis of family status:

First Reference Talks on whether an employer is obligated to create a new position to accommodate an employee to the point of undue hardship:

In Perron v Revera Long Term Care Inc., 2014 HRTO 766 (CanLII), the Human Rights Tribunal held that an employer’s duty to accommodate does not include a duty to create a new position, fundamentally change working conditions, assign the essential duties of an employee with a disability to other employees or to hire another employee to perform them in the employee’s place.

Matt Maurer on writes about a case, Donath v. HughesContainers Ltd.,  where a plaintiff successful in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit almost lost out because she got to trial too fast. The court held that a 12 month reasonable notice period would be sufficient, but it had only been 10 months since the plaintiff was terminated. The defendant argued, ultimately unsuccessful, that the plaintiff had a duty to mitigate her damages and there was no telling what would happen in the next 2 months. If she found a job, she would be overcompensated by the trial judge’s wrongful dismissal award:

Dennis Buchanan of the Buchanan Ontario Workplace Law Blog with a deeper analysis of the Donath case noted above:

The Alberta Human Rights Commission offers its advice on how to determine the proper employer of a complainant. In Green v. Kee Management Solutions Inc., the complainant alleged that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her sex in the area of employment. The complainant was dispatched from Calgary to Langley, BC to complete a delivery for a trucking company. To get there, she hitched a ride with another driver in Calgary who, allegedly, sexually assaulted and harassed her during the trip.

The AHRC considered various tests and factors from the SCC and the ABCA in Lockerbie and ultimately determined the employer in this case was a federal undertaking and that the complainant needed to seek a remedy with the Canadian Human Rights Commission instead.

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