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Jian Ghomeshi Case Involves a Complicated Interaction of Labour and Employment Law Principles

The recent termination of Jian Ghomeshi’s employment by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the “CBC”) from popular radio program “Q” has raised a number of important moral questions about the allegations against the former host. However, the situation also raises fundamental legal questions, including whether an employer may terminate an employee based on his or her private activities.

Employer’s Obligation to Accommodate Employee Does Not Extend to Requiring Other Employees to Suffer a Significant Reduction in Pay

For many employers, particularly those in unionized settings, finding appropriate work for employees requiring medical accommodation can be challenging. This is particularly the case where a position that may address an employee’s accommodation needs is occupied by another employee. However, a recent case provides clear guidance to employers that employees need not bear unfair financial costs associated with accommodating another employee.

New Human Rights Commission Policy on Mental Health and Addiction

I recently sat in on a presentation by a large benefits administrator, which focused on the top 5 categories of medical conditions resulting in disability claims.  For both short and long term absences, at or near the top of that list are mental health issues.  Mental health issues are often the primary cause of a disability claim.  But they are also frequently a secondary cause -- such as depression or anxiety after being diagnosed with a primary cause such as cancer.

Non-competition clauses can be more damaging than just being unreliable

Over the last decade or so, Canadian courts have become increasingly unwilling to enforce non-competition clauses in employment contracts, except in limited exceptional circumstances. Despite this, some employers continue to keep them included in their contracts of employment either because they are using template contracts that have not received timely legal updating, or feel that no damage can be done by leaving the clause in – and perhaps it might even create a deterrent for a departing employee from taking up work for the competitor.

Failing to Address Workplace Health and Safety Concerns Can be Costly for Employers

Ensuring workplace health and safety is always an important priority for employers, and is even more so now that Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “OHSA”) places obligations on employers with respect to workplace violence and harassment. As a recent case demonstrates, employers should be diligent regarding the development and implementation of their workplace harassment policies, and in responding to employee concerns regarding those policies.

Mary Lou Brady

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Partner and avid book club member.  Truth be told, very little of her book club’s discussion is ever about the book!

Beth Traynor

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After several years of working towards a career in midwifery,  realized she had been focusing on the wrong kind of “labour”.

Jennifer Costin

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While she likes to think she was recruited to the Labour and Employment Group for her experience and knowledge, the truth is, they needed a golfer.

Chris Sinal

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A former health club manager and wearer of suspenders, Chris brings a 'strong' sense of fashion to the team.

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