Court rules Obesity can constitute a “Disability” ( …

January 2nd, 2015

The European Court of Justice has ruled that obesity can constitute a disability for the purposes of the European Union equality at work legislation. This means that British companies will be required to treat obese workers as “disabled.” The case centers around Mr. Karsten Kaltoft, a childminder for 15 years for the Municipality of Billund […]


Court orders former journalist to repay $209,912 to the …

December 23rd, 2014

The Ontario Superior Court affirmed that a former journalist of the Globe and Mail had breached a key provision of confidentiality in the settlement agreement. In June 2008, the Globe and Mail dismissed Jan Wong, a journalist, following her lengthy absence from work due to depression. Subsequently, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, […]


Two Lessons from Paquette v Quadraspec Inc.

December 11th, 2014

In Ontario, employment relationships are governed by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). The ESA sets out minimum entitlements that employers must provide to their employees. The parties to an employment contract cannot contract out of the minimum entitlements under the ESA. In Paquette v Quadraspec Inc., Mr. Paquette made two different claims against […]


No Duty of Perfect Accommodation, only Reasonable Accom …

November 28th, 2014

Cape Breton Regional Municipality terminated a bylaw enforcement officer’s employment following his refusal to return to work pursuant to a return-to-work plan. In response, the union filed a grievance on behalf of its employee, claiming that the employee should have been accommodated by transferring him to another apartment. The employee was unable and refused to […]


Employer Condemned for Paying Workers with Developmenta …

November 17th, 2014

For over a decade, Terri-Lynn Garrie and her mother worked together at Janus Joan Inc. Garrie’s mother knew that Garrie, a woman with developmental disabilities, was earning a mere $1.00 to $1.25 an hour, but she never complained. Garrie enjoyed her job and Garrie’s mother did not know that it is illegal to pay people […]


Awful Treatment Calls for an Awfully Large Award

November 14th, 2014

In Boucher v Wal-Mart Canada Corp, a Wal-Mart assistant manager was treated so terribly by her supervisor and her employer that she received an unprecedented award for aggravated damages. Boucher and her supervisor had a good working relationship until her supervisor asked her to alter the temperature logs of food and dairy products stored in […]


Insurance companies slapped with millions in punitive d …

November 11th, 2014

Luciano Branco, a Canadian citizen, immigrated to Canada from Portugal at age 24. He became a highly qualified welder working throughout Canada, before taking a job at a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan with Cameco Corporation, a Saskatchewan based mining company. He relocated his family to Portugal and was later transferred from Cameco to its subsidiary […]


Failure to accommodate a paramedic’s return to work

November 6th, 2014

In a recent decision, the British Columbia Supreme Court tackled the issue of an employer’s failure to accommodate a disabled employee’s return to work. Peter Cassidy is a licensed primary care paramedic employed part-time by the British Columbia Ambulance Service (BCAS), in Clearwater B.C., since 1999. In 2003, following a severe attack of multiple sclerosis, […]


Strep throat not deemed a disability under the Ontario …

October 29th, 2014

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) recently dismissed a complaint alleging discrimination made by an examiner when her contract with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (the “College”) was cancelled. Her contract was cancelled because she was unable to attend a two-day mandatory training session as she had strep throat. The complainant was […]

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