What’s New at Bird Richard

We are pleased to announce that Alanna Twohey has completed her articles with Bird Richard and will be joining the firm as an Associate following her Call to the Bar on June 17, 2009.

Legislative Update

In the last issue, we reported on changes to the Employment Standards Act affecting temporary help employees. Bill 139, which was introduced in December of 2008 to create additional protections for temporary workers, is now scheduled to come into force on November 6, 2009.

Update on Drug Testing for Employees Working in Safety Sensitive Areas

Drug and alcohol testing for employees in safety sensitive positions continues to be a hot topic for courts in Ontario. A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal has provided the latest word on the ability of employers to conduct random drug testing of their employees. In Imperial Oil Ltd v. Communications, Energy and […]

Ontario Court of Appeal takes Restrictive Approach to Wallace Damages

In McNevan v. AmeriCredit Corp. (December 15, 2008), the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified that only conduct that is truly high-handed and in bad faith will warrant an award of Wallace damages. McNevan was employed as an Assistant Vice President at one of AmeriCredit’s call centres. After 13 months of service, AmeriCredit became concerned about […]

Ontario Tribunal Rules Duty to Accommodate Alcoholic Employee Not Unlimited

In Cudmore v. Inter Cap Industries (February 20, 2009), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario clarified that there are limits on an employer’s duty to accommodate alcoholic or drug-addicted employees. Cudmore violated a workplace rule by coming to work under the influence of alcohol on two occasions. On the first occasion, he was given a […]

Ontario Introduces Workplace Violence Legislation

On April 20th, 2009, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 168, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009. The Bill was carried after its first reading. If passed, it will place new and onerous obligations on employers in Ontario. Application The new workplace violence and harassment legislation will apply […]