Taryn Mackie

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Top Four Ways to Tank a Termination Clause: What Employers Don’t Know can Cost Them

At common law, it is an implied term of every employment contract that, absent just cause to end the employment relationship, an employer must provide an employee with reasonable notice of termination (or pay in lieu). This obligation can be quite substantial, with severance awards upwards of 24 months’ salary plus compensation for things like … Continue reading

COVID-19 Safety Plans vs. Communicable Disease Plans: Have you Caught the Differences?

On July 1, 2021, British Columbia enthusiastically took the next step in its four-step COVID-19 Restart Plan. The transition to Step 3 brought several changes, including the transition for employers to move away from the previously required COVID-19 Safety Plan to the now required Communicable Disease Plan (“CDP”). WorkSafeBC has published detailed guidance for employers … Continue reading

Effectuer des enquêtes en milieu de travail… pendant une pandémie

Cette année, les employeurs ont dû relever d’innombrables défis, notamment celui d’effectuer efficacement une enquête en milieu de travail alors que les protocoles de santé et sécurité exigent un certain degré de séparation. Heureusement, les règles de base pour les employeurs sont les mêmes, que ceux-ci effectuent une enquête en respectant une distance de deux … Continue reading

Conducting Workplace Investigations… in a Pandemic

This year has created innumerable challenges for employers— including the challenge of how to effectively conduct a workplace investigation when health and safety protocols demand a certain degree of separation. Fortunately, the same Do’s and Don’ts still apply to employers, whether they are conducting an investigation two meters apart or virtually through Zoom. Don’t (inexcusably) … Continue reading

Changes to British Columbia’s Workplace Legislation

This week, the Honourable Harry Bains, B.C.’s Minister of Labour, submitted bills to the legislature to amend the province’s three major workplace-related statutes that fall under the Ministry of Labour’s jurisdiction: the Employments Standards Act, the Labour Relations Code, and the Workers Compensation Act. These bills must still go through the legislative process before they … Continue reading

It Takes Two to Tango: Employee-duties in the Accommodation Process

In 2012, Statistics Canada reported that 11% of the population aged 25 to 64 (or 2.1 million people) reported having limitations caused by a physical or mental disability, with conditions ranging from hearing loss, to visual impairment, to mobility challenges, to pain, to mental health conditions.  As our population ages, disability-related conditions are only projected … Continue reading

Bill 6 looks to broaden leave entitlements in British Columbia

On April 9, 2018, BC’s Minister of Labour introduced Bill 6, the Employment Standards Amendment Act, to the BC Legislature.  Bill 6 includes proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) to bring certain types of leave into line with the Federal government’s recent changes to the Employment Insurance Act so that employees are entitled to job protection under the … Continue reading

A (Not So) New Test for Family Status Discrimination in British Columbia

It is often a challenge for employers to determine whether they have a duty to accommodate an employee’s “family status” under human rights legislation.  Adjudicators across Canada have taken different approaches to assess whether the duty to accommodate family status has been triggered.  The recent B.C. Human Rights Tribunal decision in Adair v. Forensic Psychiatric … Continue reading

Termination and Flawed Performance Management Leads to Aggravated Damages Award

Performance management is always a challenge for employers.  Termination for cause on the basis of poor performance is trickier.  The recent decision of Cottrill v. Utopia Day Spas and Salons Ltd., 2017 BCSC 704 (“Cottrill”) is a good reminder of the importance of proactive and proper performance management, especially for underperforming employees. Ms. Cottrill was … Continue reading

I’m sick of this!  But not of that:   Can you fire an employee for working another job while on sick leave?

An employee may be disciplined (including fired) for fraudulent sick leave, but does this include an employee working another job while on sick leave?  Possibly, though employers should exercise caution before pulling the trigger. In United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1518 (Sidhu Grievance) v. Sobeys West. Inc., [2016] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 148 [“Sidhu”], the grievor, … Continue reading

Now you see it (now you don’t), or do you?  Can an employer retract an offer of employment?

The retraction of an accepted offer of employment can create significant legal challenges for an employer.  The BC Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that, absent an express contractual provision to the contrary or just cause, a pre-employment retraction of an accepted offer of employment constitutes termination of employment entitling the individual to reasonable notice or damages … Continue reading
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