March 11, 2010

Employment cases are countless, but knowledge of the landmark decisions will provide you with the foundation you need to master this area of law. On March 11, Lancaster’s panel of experts will provide an in-depth analysis of the top ten employment law cases, and will arm you with the tools you need to use them to your best advantage. The cases to be discussed include:

  • McKinley v. BC Tel: What is the factual test that courts will apply in assessing whether an employer has “just cause” for dismissal without notice? When will dishonesty be grounds for dismissal? Is a single instance of dishonesty sufficient?
  • Farber v. Royal Trust Company and Evans v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31: When will a change to an employee’s conditions of employment constitute constructive dismissal? Following discharge, does an employee have an obligation to accept an offer of another position with lesser status and pay? What if the position offered is with the discharging employer?
  • Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd. and Robichaud v. Canada (Treasury Board): What behaviour constitutes “sexual harassment” and what are the key elements that must be present? What is the extent of an employer’s duty to provide a workplace free from harassment? What obligations does an employer have to take proactive measures to prevent harassment from occurring, and where harassment has already occurred, what obligations does an employer have to take measures to respond to, and provide a remedy for, the harassed employee?
  • Bardal v. The Globe & Mail Ltd.: What factors are taken into account by courts in determining the length of “reasonable notice”? How has the Bardal test been refined over time?
  • Machtinger v. HOJ Industries Ltd.: To what extent can the parties modify the “reasonable notice” requirement through the specific terms of the contract? How should “reasonable notice” be determined? If the contract provides for notice periods that are less than what is required by employment standards legislation, will they be deemed null and void, with the result that a “reasonable notice” period is required?
  • Red Deer College v. Michaels: How does the doctrine of mitigation (the “duty to mitigate” one’s damages) apply to the assessment of compensation for lost wages following wrongful dismissal? Who bears the onus of demonstrating that an employee has made or failed to make reasonable efforts to find work after discharge, and that work could or could not have been found?
  • Wallace v. United Grain Growers and Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays: When will the courts award aggravated or punitive damages in the context of a claim for wrongful dismissal? What is the current approach to the awarding of damages for bad faith in the manner of dismissal?
  • Elsley v. J.G. Collins Insurance Agencies Ltd.: When will restrictive covenants limiting competition by employees be enforceable, and when will they be struck down as excessive? What is the difference between covenants restricting competition and covenants restricting solicitation, and how do the reactions of the courts differ?
  • Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd.: Should courts and tribunals take a broad or narrow approach in interpreting employment-related legislation, such as employment standards statutes? What impact has Rizzo & Rizzo had on the development of employment jurisprudence?
  • Dunsmuir v. New Brunswick: What is the applicable law governing the dismissal of a public employee: the law of contract or the general principles of public law, and what difference does it make? What standards are applied by courts in the judicial review of a decision of a tribunal or board?

This audio conference has been approved by the following:

  • The Law Society of Saskatchewan for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • The Law Society of New Brunswick for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.
  • The Law Society of Upper Canada for 1.5 hours (Labour Law) towards the professional development requirement for certification.
  • The Law Society of British Columbia for 1.5 Continuing Professional Development hours.