Disabilities and Addiction in the Workplace

Disabilities and Addiction in the Workplace

Photo: flickr/Patsincharco

By Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle

Reposted from LawNow 43(5) with permission.

Employee alcohol and drug addictions in the workplace can be very difficult issues for employers to manage. Addiction is recognized as a mental disability, which means that employers cannot automatically terminate employees because of their addiction. On the contrary, employers are required to accommodate those employees to the point of undue hardship.

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State Neutrality Does Not Always Result in Substantive Equality

State Neutrality Does Not Always Result in Substantive Equality

Photo: flickr/Tim Henderschott

By Linda McKay-Panos

Reposted from LawNow 43(5) with permission.

Recently, Quebec Premier François Legault’s government introduced Bill 21 (An Act Respecting the Laicity [Secularism] of the State). Among other things, the Act prohibits public workers in positions of authority (e.g., teachers, police officers, prison guards, Crown prosecutors, government lawyers and judges) from wearing religious symbols (not defined in the Act, but presumably would include turbans, kippahs, crucifixes, hijabs, clerical collars, etc.).

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Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Photo: flickr/[Alana Post]

By Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle

Reposted from LawNow 43(4) with permission.

Requesting medical information from employees may raise privacy issues. Employees have the right to keep their medical information confidential and private. But employers also have the right to know about their employees’ illness or disability, and have the right to seek medical information in order to provide appropriate accommodation. So, how can we balance the two?

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Administrative Segregation and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Administrative Segregation and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Photo:flickr/[whitesun12]

On January 4, 2019, Madam Justice Dawn Pentelechuk found that Mr. Ryan Prystay’s lengthy stay in administrative segregation at the Edmonton Remand Centre breached section 12 of the Charter. Consequently, she granted him enhanced credit of 3.75 days for each day spent in administrative segregation.

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Workplace Harassment in the RCMP and Civilian Oversight

Workplace Harassment in the RCMP and Civilian Oversight

Photo: flickr/[RCMP Musical Ride—Sunset Ceremonies]

by Rowan Hickie

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, mainstream awareness surrounding workplace harassment and bullying has expanded beyond the borders of Hollywood. One such workplace that has seen increased awareness of harassment has been the RCMP. While RCMP employees have been coming forward about the harassment and abuse they experienced in the workplace for many years, the past few years have seen not only an increase in the number of RCMP members coming forward and public awareness and interest in the issue, but also government and institutional response.

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A Significant Human Rights Event for the Lubicon People

A Significant Human Rights Event for the Lubicon People

flickr/[USDA NRCS Montana]

In 1899, Treaty 8 was negotiated with several First Nations groups in Northern Alberta—North East Saskatchewan, Southwest parts of the Northwest Territories and later Eastern British Columbia—resulting in land surrender to the Crown. However, members of the Lubicon Lake Band were left out of the negotiations. This launched several decades of claims and disputes between Lubicon people and the federal and provincial governments. While the Lubicons continued to live in their traditional ways, the province of Alberta leased areas of the disputed lands for oil and gas development and provided permits for harvesting lumber using clear cut methods. These activities had negative impacts on the Lubicon people. The dispute became known across Canada and the world when Amnesty International and the United Nations became involved.

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Rowbotham Order, Publication Ban, Sealing Order and In Camera Proceeding

 Rowbotham Order, Publication Ban, Sealing Order and In Camera Proceeding

https://://www.flickr.com/photos/sallybuck/

The Appellant, Her Majesty the Queen, appealed a Rowbotham order granted by Justice DRG Thomas on March 11, 2016, which directed the Alberta government to pay Mr. Vader’s (the Respondent’s) legal fees for work previously completed. The order also allowed a publication ban, a sealing order and an in camera hearing of the Rowbotham application.

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Discrimination and Harassment Case Highlights the Difficulties in Choosing the Appropriate Forum

Discrimination and Harassment Case Highlights the Difficulties in Choosing the Appropriate Forum

https://public domain

LL sued her former employer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) for damages for its failure to protect her (as her employer) from ongoing sexual harassment and abuse. LL also claimed damages for constructive dismissal. CNRL applied to have the actions summarily dismissed or for an order to have portions of LL’s claims struck (at paras 1-3).

CNRL employed LL for approximately four years (2010 to 2014) as a Testing Technician. LL alleged that beginning on her first day of work (on Shift A), she experienced verbal, emotional and sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse from her male colleagues and the male team lead (at para 4). The types of harassment and abuse included (at para 5):

  • Inappropriate and discriminatory comments against Aboriginal people;

  • Inappropriate and discriminatory comments against women;

  • Inappropriate sexual comments;

  • Inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact;

  • Breaches of her privacy when her supervisor illegally obtained her home address and visited her home uninvited;

  • Her supervisor stalking her by telephone and in person;

  • Unlawful coercion of the Respondent into a sexual relationship with her supervisor under threat of being fired; and

  • Belittling and demeaning treatment of the Respondent in the presence of other team members.

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