Tag archives: trade unions

Singapore: Legal issues commonly faced by freelancers and self-employed individuals

An estimated 8 to 10% of Singapore’s existing workforce comprise freelancers and self-employed individuals.[1]  This percentage is likely to increase with the expansion of the gig and on-demand economy. In recent months, there has been increasing public concern as to the ‘employment’ rights and legal status of these freelancers and self-employed individuals. Are they employees … Continue reading

Federal unionized employers – Proposal for anti-scab provisions rejected

In March 2016, we issued a legal update discussing Private Member’s Bill C-234. This Bill, tabled by the NDP, proposed the introduction in the Canada Labour Code of measures comparable to the anti-scab provisions contained in the Québec Labour Code. This NDP proposition was undertaken to support longstanding unions’ demands – in the past, similar … Continue reading

Ninth Circuit adds to circuit split regarding enforceability of class action waivers

On August 22, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in finding that an employer violates the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by requiring employees to sign an agreement including a class arbitration waiver. In Morris v. Ernst & Young, plaintiffs were required to sign “concerted action waivers” as a … Continue reading

NLRB allows student assistants to form union

In the much anticipated Columbia University decision, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its most recent precedent and held that student teaching assistants at private colleges and universities are statutory employees under the National Labor Relations Act and may therefore vote to form a union.  This decision is a return to an earlier decision by … Continue reading

Arbitrator Upholds Termination of Nurse for Patient Privacy Breaches

There is a growing body of arbitral jurisprudence upholding summary dismissal of employees who breached workplace codes of conduct, confidentiality and privacy policies by deliberately snooping into co-worker or client records without any legitimate purpose and for reasons of their own.  A number of these cases have concerned privacy breaches by hospital employees.  Ontario Nurses’ … Continue reading

Freedom of Association and the Ontario Medical Association

Last week, the Ontario Medical Association (“OMA”) challenged the constitutionality of the provincial government’s decision to cut fees for doctors. The OMA is relying on section 2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”) which expressly protects freedom of association – a right most often invoked by trade unions. The organization is seeking … Continue reading

NLRB passes on football players’ employee status

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined to assert jurisdiction to determine whether the Northwestern University (Northwestern) scholarship football players should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In April, we reported that the Regional Director of Region 13 of the NLRB found that scholarship football players from … 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

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

Der arbeitsrechtliche Hintergrund der derzeitigen Streiks bei der Bahn

Arg strapaziert wird derzeit der Geduldsfaden der Bahnkunden – über Tage hinweg legten Gewerkschaften den Bahnverkehr mit Streiks lahm. Da eine Einigung der Lokführergewerkschaft GdL bzw. der Eisenbahnergewerkschaft EVG mit der Deutschen Bahn noch immer nicht in Sicht ist, ist zudem bis Weihnachten mit weiteren Streiks zu rechnen. Doch was ist der Hintergrund der verhärteten … Continue reading

Conciliation travail-famille – endeavour to achieve a work life balance in Quebec

In Quebec, time devoted to paid work has considerably increased over the years. Moreover, the number of single-parent families and households where both spouses work is growing. Consequently, we are left with an increasing imbalance between work and family obligations. Quebec is no exception to this rule. Indeed, the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec (BNQ) … Continue reading

Civil and criminal proceedings under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

The fallout has continued from the industrial dispute between building company Grocon and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), which culminated in a major blockade in Melbourne’s central business district in August 2012, with the Full Federal Court partially allowing an appeal by the CFMEU against a decision that would have permitted the … Continue reading

Strike ballots struck out of Labour Relations Amendment Bill

After surviving a three year consultation process and hefty deliberations in the National Economic Development and Labour Council, strike ballot provisions were voted out of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill by Parliament’s labour committee last week. The provisions, which were intended to amend the sections regulating workers’ right to strike in the Labour Relations Act … Continue reading

The ongoing dispute over the Victorian Building & Construction Code and Guidelines

Eco Recyclers Pty Ltd (Eco), a contractor that performs demolition work in the construction industry, has become drawn into a larger dispute between the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and the Victorian Government, in relation to the Government’s “Implementation Guidelines to the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry” (the … Continue reading
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