Workplace Wire

Connecting employers to developments in labour, employment & pension law

Beware the Employment Reference!

References present a double-edged sword for employers.  On one hand, employers typically want former employees to find new jobs as doing so will get them off the company’s severance payroll.  On the other hand, providing references may expose employers to dual-pronged liability in negligence and/or defamation. Given the recent news that Canada lost nearly 46,000…

Read More…

No Evidence, No Dice: Drug Addiction Self-Assessment Not Enough

Terminating a unionized employee for substance abuse in the workplace is tricky, considering the duty to accommodate and the traditional mitigating factors arbitrators will consider when determining whether termination is an appropriate response (length of employment, discipline record, remorse, etc). A recent arbitration decision might bring some comfort to employers. In Vale (Manitoba Operations) v….

Read More…

Can you be fired for being too good-looking?

Like me, you may live in fear of being discriminated against for being, in the words of Derek Zoolander, “really, really ridiculously good-looking”.  It turns out that my fears may be justified—at least in Iowa. You may recall the case involving Melissa Nelson from media reports last December.  She was  terminated without cause by her…

Read More…

Is Requiring Canadian Work Experience Discriminatory?

It’s a well-documented fact that recent immigrants face high rates of both underemployment and unemployment.  Statistics Canada reported that between 1991 and 2006, the proportion of immigrants with a university degree in jobs with low educational requirements has increased, and that the requirement for Canadian experience is the most common barrier faced by newcomers looking…

Read More…