On April 5, 2018, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the “WSIB”) published a new policy, entitled “Medical Assistance in Dying”. The new policy provides that if a worker receives medical assistance in dying as a result of a work related injury or disease in accordance with federal and provincial law, the worker will be deemed to have died as a result of the work related injury or disease.
In June 2016, Dirk Plate was convicted of fraud in a multi-million dollar overbilling scheme involving his employer, Atlas Copco Canada. Inc. Mr. Plate was sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in the scheme, which involved the misappropriation of funds from Mr. Plate’s employer through the use of false advances of bonuses, approvals of illegitimate expense reimbursements and inflated and/or false invoices. In March 2018, a Toronto judge ruled in favour of Mr. Plate’s former employer in a civil action against Mr. Plate, the former General Manager (and later, Vice-President) of the Construction and Mining division at the company’s Sudbury, Ontario office. The Court found that Mr. Plate had been a fiduciary of the company, and that he had breached that duty when he became aware of the fraud scheme, benefitted from it and allowed it to continue. Accordingly, Mr. Plate was found liable for all damages incurred by the company during the period that Mr. Plate was aware of the fraudulent scheme, a sum of $20 million.
In a statement to a local newspaper, Ontario’s Minister of Labour indicated that the Ontario government will proclaim legislation written three years ago but never enacted – in particular, Schedule 5 of Bill 18 (also known as the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 10). This Schedule would require the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to “ascribe injuries and accident costs to the clients of temporary help agencies”, rather than to the temporary help agencies themselves.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently overturned the order of a motion judge striking a plaintiff’s claim for damages in negligence against two coffee shop employees. The plaintiff alleged that she had been injured when a barista poured scalding hot water on her hands, and sued both the employee and the manager of the store. The corporation brought a motion to strike the statement of claim against the manager and barista on the basis that it did not disclose a “reasonable cause of action” against either individual, and that the personal naming of the employees was an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal disagreed, finding that the general rule is that an employee acting in the course of his or her employment can be sued personally for breaching a duty of care owed to a customer.
On March 6, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which outlines a three year plan to increase gender equity, challenge bias and eliminate barriers women face at work, at home and in their communities. The strategy includes the introduction of Bill 203, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which would require, inter alia, the filing and positing of pay transparency reports by certain employers.
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Ontario’s Ministry of Labour has issued a new version of its employment standards poster following changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) that came into force on January 1, 2018. Most workplaces covered by the ESA are required to post the poster.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the conviction and the sentence imposed on a project manager who was the first individual charged under the occupational criminal negligence amendments to the Criminal Code. The project manager had been found guilty for criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison following the collapse of a “swing stage” being used on a construction project in 2009.
Bill C-65 (An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1) targets harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces. Bill C-65 recently passed second reading in Canada’s House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. As Bill C-65 is a government-sponsored bill, it is likely that it will eventually introduce new obligations for federally regulated employers operating in Canada.
These articles on Canadian labour and employment law matters have been authored courtesy of the following Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti (L&E Global Canada) attorneys: Giovanna Di Sauro, Associate, email@example.com; Laura Freitag, Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Cassandra Ma, Associate, email@example.com.For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Canada, please contact Robert Bayne, Partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti (www.filion.on.ca) at rbayne@