Gabriel Granatstein

Subscribe to all posts by Gabriel Granatstein

Masking the Issue: Arbitrator strikes down hospital rule that requires Nurses to wear Masks or get the Flu Shot

Can hospitals implement policies that require nurses to get a flu shot or wear a mask? An Arbitrator in Ontario says no. This has left about 30 Ontario hospitals who implemented such policies unable to enforce them. The test case involved Sault Area Hospital (“SAH”) in Sault Ste. Marie. The hospital introduced a “Vaccinate or … Continue reading

Religious Accommodations @ Work: Reminder from the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

In a recent decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“the Tribunal”) decided in favour of two teenaged employees who were fired for refusing to work on a religious holiday. The employees are siblings, ages 16 and 14, and observe the Christian Mennonite faith. They informed their employer two weeks in advance that they were … Continue reading

Managing Medical Marijuana in the Workplace in Canada

Federal regulations permit access to marijuana for medical purposes, and the use of marijuana can become a complicated issue in the workplace. Importantly, the Supreme Court of Canada recently ruled that patients approved under the regulations should have access to all forms of cannabis products, including edible or topical cannabis products, as opposed to only … Continue reading

Ontario Civic Holiday: The holiday that isn’t..

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not … Continue reading

Ontario Court of Appeal rules on interaction between Human Rights Code & Federal Charter of Rights

The Ontario Court of Appeal has recently upheld a decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal which discussed the interaction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) and the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) with respect to discrimination in the employment context. In the case of Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service … Continue reading

Arguing constructive dismissal? Ontario Labour Relations Board sets high threshold for employees

A decision released last week from the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) has re-emphasized the high threshold required to find that the conduct of an employer amounts to constructive dismissal. In the decision of Julie C. Malboeuf v. PR Dental Facility Ltd., Julie Malboeuf brought an application under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 asserting … Continue reading

Uber drivers found to be employees in California: Canadian provinces to follow?

A recent decision from the California Labour Commission (the Commission) has held that drivers from the popular Uber service are employees and not independent contractors. This decision has sparked public interest as its implications could bring trouble for the successful mobile-based start-up. In coming down on the side of the drivers, the Commission concluded that … Continue reading

Sexual harassment in Toronto’s restaurants

Recently, allegations of sexual harassment in the kitchen of a trendy Toronto restaurant have ignited a dialogue about workplace harassment. While this doesn’t excuse it, industry veterans aren’t surprised by the complaint, saying that many of Canada’s restaurants have a workplace culture that is overwhelming male, close-knit, and full of sexualized banter. The employee at … Continue reading

Coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) broadened in Manitoba

The Manitoba government is introducing new amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that would make it easier for employees to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recognized as a work-related occupational disease. The legislation does that by creating the presumption that workers suffering from PTSD received the illness from the job, if diagnosed by a medical … Continue reading

Passing the smell test: The duty accommodate employees with scent sensitivities

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently considered the types of accommodations employers are required to make with regard The employee, a teacher with the Coquitlam School District, filed a complaint with the Tribunal alleging that her employer’s failure to provide a scent-free work environment amounted to discrimination on the basis of physical disability, contrary … Continue reading

Duty of fairness extends to performance file for Government employee

A recent decision of the Federal Court has affirmed the importance of a Federal government employee’s right to procedural fairness. The dispute centred around whether an employee, in appealing his annual performance review, was entitled to see documents explaining his appraisal. The employer, a federal agenct, utilized what is often referred to as a “pay-at-risk” performance rating … Continue reading

Watch what you say: Off-duty conduct can lead to serious workplace reprecussions

A few people have recently learned that publicly embarassing yourself outside of work can have a serious impact at work. A Hydro One employee was swiftly terminated following offensive statements made to a news reporter. A TC Transcontinental employee was suspended with pay pending an investigation following the public heckling of a female comedian. Does … Continue reading

Clear language trumps fairness: Be clear in collective agreements to avoid double dipping

A 7 year battle over a day of paid personal leave has finally reached a conclusion. The dispute centred around the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement governing a unionized employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The employee, during the span of one fiscal year, moved from one position within the Agency to another. … Continue reading

Ontario teachers ordered back to school after illegal strike

The government’s new School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, which passed last year, has become the subject of controversy. Secondary school teachers across Ontario have been on strike for multiple weeks keeping approximately 70,000 students out of the classroom. The three school boards have taken this issue of these local strike’s legality to the Ontario Labour … Continue reading