Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

We need a tort of sexual harassment

In 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) released its decision in Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), reversing a trial court decision and definitively ruling there to be no independent tort of harassment. The plaintiff, an employee of a police force, had made a claim of harassment and bullying which he asserted negatively impacted his career and caused him emotional distress.

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Respect at Work Training – why now?

We’ve been hearing much talk about the “Great Resignation” – specifically, between April and September 2021, more than 24 million American employees left their jobs, an all-time record. While the same hasn’t yet been seen in Canada, experts speculate that this may just be delayed…

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Supreme Court revisits what is a “factor” in discrimination

In human rights law, courts and tribunals will often find it useful to determine whether a claimant has established a prima facie case of discrimination. The test requires that the complainant has a protected characteristic under the relevant human rights legislation; that the complainant suffered disadvantage or adverse impact; and that the protected characteristic was a factor or had contributed to the disadvantage or adverse impact.

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How long is too long?

Time has always been of the essence in workplace investigations. In our practice, we go so far as to qualify time as one of the pillars of an investigation. As considerable as it already is, its importance may have reached another level with the recent decision in Toronto District School Board v. Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 44001. In that case, Arbitrator John Stout found the failure to conduct a timely investigation to be a stand-alone ground to conclude a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code (“the Code”).

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