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BC government proposes paid leave for victims of domestic and sexual violence

On March 3, 2020, the British Columbia government introduced a bill that would require employers to provide paid leaves of absence to domestic or sexual violence victims. If passed, Bill 5 will require employers to provide victims with at least five paid days off each year to seek assistance and ...
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/ Employment Standards

Foodora couriers are dependent contractors, says OLRB

Paving the way for union certification, in Canadian Union of Postal Workers, v Foodora Inc. d.b.a. Foodora the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has determined that Foodora couriers are dependent contractors, as defined in Ontario's Labour Relations Act. The OLRB's decision provides some clarity in defining the status of workers ...
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/ Employment Litigation

Termination clause void if less than employment standards minimum

In Machtinger v. HOJ Industries Ltd., 1992 CanLII 102 (SCC), the Supreme Court of Canada held that a termination clause that provides less than the applicable minimum notice period prescribed by the Employment Standards Act is unenforceable. Background Despite Mr. Machtinger having been employed for more than five years, his ...
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/ Employment Litigation, Leading Cases

Settlement and release does not necessarily bar unjust dismissal claims

The Federal Court of Appeal has reaffirmed that an employee who signs a full release of claims is not necessarily barred from bringing an unjust dismissal claim pursuant to section 240 of the Canada Labour Code. In Bank of Montreal v. Li, 2020 FCA 22, Ms. Li was dismissed by ...
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/ Employment Standards

Mitigation deductions apply to fixed term contracts

In Quach v. Mitrux Services Ltd., 2020 BCCA 25, the BC Court of Appeal has confirmed that mitigation earnings must be deducted from an employee's damages caused by an employer's breach of a fixed term contract, unless the parties agree otherwise. Background When an employer dismisses an employee prior to ...
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/ Employment Litigation

Do amended employment contracts require fresh consideration?

Historically, the law has been that an amendment to a contract will only be enforceable if both parties receive fresh consideration as part of the arrangement. But in 2018, the BC Court of Appeal shook things up when it held that fresh consideration will no longer always be required to ...
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/ Employment Litigation

Supreme Court of Canada hears case that could affect validity of mandatory arbitration clauses

The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller, a case which could have widespread consequences for mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. The representative plaintiff, Mr. Heller, seeks certification to bring a class action against Uber. Mr. Heller alleges that he and other Uber drivers ...
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Ontario Court of Appeal: Arbitrarily resetting an employee’s length of service breaches Employment Standards Act

Can an employee and employer agree to reset an employee's length of service in order to reduce the employee's statutory notice and severance entitlements? No, according to the Ontario Court of Appeal in Ariss v. NORR Limited Architects & Engineers, 2019 ONCA 449. The plaintiff, Mr. Ariss, approached his employer ...
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BC Minimum Wage Increase

Effective June 1, 2019, the general minimum wage, applicable to most employees in British Columbia, is increased from $12.65 to $13.85. This is the second of four minimum wage increases taking place every June 1 from 2018 until 2021: June 1, 2018: Minimum wage was increased to $12.65 (from $11.35)June ...
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/ Employment Standards

Employment Standards Tribunal clarifies: employees must earn 6% vacation pay in 5th year

At first glance, the Employment Standards Act appears to require employees in their sixth year of employment to take three weeks of vacation, while being paid only two weeks of vacation pay. In 2019 BCEST 10, the Employment Standards Tribunal follows previous Tribunal decisions in concluding that this cannot be ...
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/ Employment Standards