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Damages for Bad Faith, Mental Distress and Personal Injury

15th Jul 2013

Today, much of the Canadian work force believes they are being “bullied” or “harassed.” But despite statutory definitions and workplace policies attempting to define this behaviour, it is still usually a matter of perception. A tough boss to one employee is often a bully to another. Since bullying and harassment are often in the eyes of the beholder, when do our courts and labour tribunals intervene? And when does bullying or harassment justify a successful lawsuit? more

I recently walked off a job after being sexually harassed. It was reported to my employer and a proper investigation was not conducted. Instead I was put on a shift I couldn’t work and eventually had to leave. The sexual harassment was actually a sexual assault. What are my legal options? Who do I report this to in order to get some action? more

Despite the existence of privacy legislation, privacy-based regulatory bodies, privacy principles and even privacy-based torts (wrongful acts that lead to damages) there is still no clear “right” to privacy for many workers.

This is because most privacy laws are not absolute. They have exceptions and exemptions – or simply don’t apply to the vast majority of employees.

How then does this legal landscape practically affect the rights of Canadian employers and their employees? more

7th Oct 2012

I’m getting bullied by most of my co-workers, and when I’ve told my boss that I don’t appreciate it, he tells me I need to relax and be a good sport about it. To him, it’s just fun and games, but it’s been getting me down so much that I’ve got to the point that I hate going in to work. By Sunday night, I feel myself getting stressed out and dreading the next day. I’ve spoken to my boss three times now, and he hasn’t done anything about it and I think he just thinks I’m a “whiner.” If I go to HR, I’m worried it’ll probably just make things worse. I can’t afford to just quit, but if something doesn’t happen soon I’m going to end up on stress leave, anyway. I understand workplace bullying is considered illegal, but how do I prove it, and what can I realistically do about it? more

30th Sep 2012

Are you doing the job you were hired to do? Or are you doing something completely different? Have the terms of your employment agreement been changed without your permission?If so, you may have been constructively dismissed, whether you realize it or not. And you may be entitled to damages. Constructive dismissal occurs where your employer unilaterally implements a fundamental change to the essential terms of your job. When this happens, the job you are performing is significantly different than before, and your employer may therefore be deemed to have dismissed you. more

Many disputes are rooted in, and later resolved on the basis of, policy.  Or at least they should be.  This applies in law as much as it does in life: our courts do not always decide employment cases based on what is reasonable or just, but rather, on what makes for the best workplace policy. more

Canadian employers continue to allege cause for dismissal based on any perceived wrong. Although, in cases of serious misconduct such as theft or fraud, they are justified, in most cases they are not. Judges continue to require employers to show that they investigated misconduct, considered any mitigating circumstances and first offered coaching to any employee they wish to fire without notice. Ultimately the punishment must fit the crime. more

Employment Law Basics: This is as true in law as it is in life. Here is a sampling of some of the questions I received this week and the cautionary advice I provided to those employees. more

Canadian employers have historically taken an ignorant view of human rights tribunals and their often extraordinary decisions. But that may be quickly changing. Because of sweeping changes to human rights legislation and left-leaning adjudicators directed to interpret remedial legislation, such as human rights laws, in a broad and inclusive manner, employers should be very concerned. Here are some of the reasons why. more

With no legal entitlement to continued employment, Canadian employees decry that the law of dismissal favours their employer. Employers, however, don’t have a magic bullet for liberating themselves from unsatisfactory employees; most mistakes are made by the employees themselves. more