August 5, 2021

Employers, unions, and workers in the health care sector face unique challenges and added complexity given the nature of their work, increased regulatory oversight, and responsibility in caring for others. This has been especially true during the pandemic. In this webinar, experienced advocates will examine significant recent decisions of courts, arbitrators, and labour boards affecting the health care sector. While the final selection of topics will occur closer to the date of the webinar to ensure currency, issues to be addressed include the following:

  • What health and safety measures are courts, arbitrators, and labour relations boards ordering be put in place to protect health care workers from hazards associated with COVID-19? What is the precautionary principle, and how broadly is it being applied by adjudicators in their decisions?
  • While emergency orders and regulations have provided employers with greater leeway in responding to the pandemic, what limits have been placed on the exercise of these powers?
  • What factors do arbitrators consider when assessing whether an accommodation is suitable or would constitute undue hardship? How does patient or resident safety factor into this assessment?
  • To what extent does the assessment of just cause for discipline differ in cases involving an employee in the health care field who cares for vulnerable persons? What role does the potential harm to the employer’s reputation within the community play in assessing just cause for discipline?
  • When can health care workers be disciplined or face professional repercussions for their off-duty conduct? How are adjudicators balancing employees’ rights, such as freedom of expression, against the need to maintain public confidence in the health care system?
  • What significant issues are likely to arise in the coming year?