Letters of Guidance Not Disciplinary: MBQB
Investigation Committee of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba
has the authority to issue letters of guidance to its members and it
was reasonable to do so in this case, according to the court in Hancock v. College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba,
2018 MBQB 149. The applicant argued that the letter of guidance she
received had the hallmarks of a disciplinary reprimand given the
language used and the fact that it would go on her personnel file and
could be used in subsequent hearings. The court found, however, that
CRNM’s interpretation of its statutory authority as permitting
non-disciplinary letters of guidance was defensible, as was the
decision to issue one without the member’s consent.
No Reason Needed for Termination of Independent Contractor: MBQB
The self-employed host of a hard hitting public affairs program run
through the RRC campus radio station was unsuccessful in suing the
college and others for wrongful termination of his contract in Boroditsky v. Red River College et al.,
2018 MBQB 132. The court found no indicia that the program host was
ever in an employment relationship with Red River or its Crecomm
program, and allegations that there was a conspiracy to remove him were
without merit. The court dismissed the claim, noting that businesses
are not required to provide independent contractors with a reason for
termination and Crecomm was free to terminate without notice.
Injunctions Rarely Granted in Constitutional Challenges: MBQB
In Manitoba Federation of Labour et al. v. the Government of Manitoba,
2018 MBQB 125, the court declined to issue an interlocutory injunction
to restrain the government from proclaiming into force sections of The
Public Services Sustainability Act. The Act received royal assent in
June 2017 but has yet to be proclaimed. Several unions are challenging
the constitutionality of the wage freeze legislation, arguing that ss.
9-15 violate ss. 2(d) and 7 of the Charter. In considering the
three-stage test for granting an interlocutory injunction the court
found that, while there was a serious issue to be tried and a prospect
of irreparable harm, the balance of convenience and the public interest
weighed heavily against granting an injunction or stay.
Other Court Decisions
| In Mospanchuk v. MX Group Ltd.,
2018 MBQB 130, the court found it could not confidently make the
necessary findings of fact to decide the wrongful dismissal claim on a
summary basis given the numerous contradictions in the assertions made
in the affidavits filed in the motion. The court ordered that the
matter proceed to trial expeditiously.
In Miller v. W.C.B.,
2018 MBQB 146, the court could find no failure of procedural fairness
or natural justice in the decisions denying workers compensation
benefits to the applicant, a nurse whose claim of post-concussion
syndrome (arising from a physical encounter with a dementia patient)
Inappropriate Social Media Use and the Workplace: MBLA
C-62, An Act to amend the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act and other Acts,
passed third reading in the House of Commons on June 20, 2018 and was
referred to the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance on
October 16, 2018. It amends the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act
to restore the procedures for the choice of process of dispute
resolution that existed before December 13, 2013. For further details
see the legislative summary.
Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the
Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget
Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, passed third reading in the
Senate on June 18, 2018. It proposes amendments to strengthen the
existing framework for the prevention of harassment and violence in the
work place. For further details see the legislative summary and backgrounder.
The federal government announced that it intends to bring the proposed
Act into force within two years of royal assent and to that end
recently launched a public consultation on the proposed regulatory framework. This Robson Crim Legal Blog post discusses Bill C-65 and other legislative responses to address harassment.
C-74, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1, received royal assent on June 21, 2018. As noted in this Hicks Morley update, the omnibus act includes amendments to the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Income Tax Act.
C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada,
was introduced June 20, 2018 and referred to committee on September 26,
2018. It proposes accessibility legislation to apply to federally
regulated employers. For further information see the legislative summary, background documents, and the Slaw article Federal Accessibility Law Tabled in Parliament. HUMA is inviting submissions on the proposed legislation by October 25, 2018.
Bill 219, The Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act (Inappropriate or Unsafe Footwear), received royal assent and came into force June 4, 2018. It amends The Workplace Safety and Health Act
to include a section prohibiting employers from requiring workers to
wear footwear that is not appropriate to the protection required for
the workers’ work or that does not allow workers to safely perform
New Parental Sharing Benefit to be Implemented Early
| Employment and Social Development Canada has announced
that the new parental sharing benefit proposed in Budget 2018 will
start earlier than anticipated, on March 17, 2019. The new measure will
provide an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance parental
benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex parents—agree to
share parental benefits, or an additional eight weeks for those who
choose the extended parental benefit option. The backgrounder provides further details.
Report on Modernizing Federal Labour Standards
|The federal government released What we heard: Modernizing federal labour standards on August 30, 2018, reporting on the results of its consultation with stakeholders on modernizing the Canada Labour Code.
The labour minister has confirmed that legislation will be introduced
this fall to update the decades-old federal labour standards, including
provisions to address work-life balance issues and better protections
for part-time and temporary workers.
Reports on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
|The Manitoba government announced
the release of two reports looking at sexual harassment, harassment, and
respectful workplace policies and procedures in the civil service. The
first report focuses
on what was heard from employees about their experiences with sexual
harassment throughout their careers in the Manitoba government.
The second report
outlines specific recommendations from an external consultant, MLT
Aikins, to improve policies and procedures related to harassment
including sexual harassment.
For organizations looking to develop or enhance policies and procedures in this area, this Global Workplace Insider blog post
describes New York State’s comprehensive guidance on their anti-sexual
harassment laws and includes links to model policies, toolkits,
posters, and training materials on this topic.
2018 Isaac Pitblado Lectures
Annual Manitoba Labour Law Review
|The 24th Annual Manitoba Labour Law Review
will take place November 13 and 14, 2018 at the Victoria Inn Hotel and
Convention Centre. Presenters will provide updates on labour board
decisions, arbitration award, and accommodation cases and discuss
recent issues such as drug testing of employees and how legalization of
pot will affect workplaces.