i) The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently decided that a temporary layoff resulted in the constructive dismissal of an employee. In that case, the employee was temporarily laid off on September 15, 2014 with a return date set for December 15, 2014. At the conclusion of the layoff, the employee was recalled to his prior position on the same terms; however, the employee refused to return to work and claimed that he had been constructively dismissed. The Court found that because the employee’s employment contract did not provide for temporary layoffs, the layoff had resulted in a constructive dismissal. The Court refused the employee’s claim for reasonable notice of 15 months and instead found that the employee was only entitled to 3 months of salary covering the period until he was re-offered his job and, accordingly, could have mitigated his losses.
ii) On appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Canada found that a claim for workers compensation benefits under the British Columbia Workers Compensation Act did not require expert opinion-based medical evidence of a causal link between the nature of the work and the occupational disease. Under the legislation in British Columbia, one of the requirements for a claim for benefits for occupational disease is “causative significance”. The Court found that causative significance could be established even in the absence of expert medical evidence establishing a causal link.
iii) In a recent arbitration decision, the arbitrator found that an employer was liable for failing to protect its workers from harassment and discrimination from customer posts that were posted on the employer’s Twitter account. The arbitrator found that the employer had failed to take all reasonable and practical measures to protect bargaining unit employees from harassment by members of the community in breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Collective Agreement and the employer’s Workplace Harassment Policy.