HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 20

FEATURE

FEDERALLY
REGULATED
EMPLOYERS
BE CAUTIOUS
Important Change in Law Issued by
Supreme Court of Canada, Giving
Employees More Firepower in
"Unjust Dismissal" Provisions of
the Canada Labour Code
BY JOSEPH G. OPPENHEIM AND
LAUREN A. BARTELUK, CARBERT WAITE LLP.

In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.1
the Supreme Court of Canada provided
a critical clarification to the "unjust dismissal" provisions in the Canada Labour
Code (the "Code").2 The Court ruled that
the Code prohibits federally regulated
businesses and organizations from dismissing most non-unionized employees
without cause subject to certain exceptions. In its reasons, the Court stated that
Parliament's intention in drafting this part
of the Code was "to offer an alternative
statutory scheme consisting of expansive
protections much like those available to
20 | CPHRab.ca

employees covered by a collective agreement." In other words, the intention was to
provide protections similar to what unionized employees generally have.
The consequence of this decision is that
unless specific exceptions apply, any
without cause dismissal will be deemed
"unjust." The applicable exceptions are
referenced in the Code. Examples of these
exceptions include lay-offs due to lack
of work or discontinuance of a function,
dismissal of managers without cause, and
people that have been employed for less

than 12 consecutive months.3 The federal
Ministry of Labour has broad discretion
as to the remedies it can award in the
event it deems a dismissal to be "unjust."
It can order the employer to reinstate the
employee, pay compensation for lost
wages, and do anything else that it deems
"equitable" to remedy the consequence
of dismissal, including the payment of
legal fees. Dismissed employees are free
to make a complaint to the federal Minister
of Labour under the "unjust dismissal" process and pursue common law remedies
through the civil courts.4


http://www.CPHRab.ca

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017

Leadership Matters
Prepare for Policy Revision
What You Need to Know About Bill 17 and Your Benefit Plans
Federally Regulated Employers Be Cautious – Important Change in Law Issued by Supreme Court of Canada
What Evidence is Required?
Policy Corner
Index of Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Intro
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - bellyband1
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - bellyband2
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - cover1
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - cover2
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 3
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 4
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 5
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Leadership Matters
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 7
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 8
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 9
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 10
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 11
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 12
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 13
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Prepare for Policy Revision
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 15
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 16
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 17
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - What You Need to Know About Bill 17 and Your Benefit Plans
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 19
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Federally Regulated Employers Be Cautious – Important Change in Law Issued by Supreme Court of Canada
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 21
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - What Evidence is Required?
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 23
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Policy Corner
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 25
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - Index of Advertisers/ Advertisers.com
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - cover3
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - cover4
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - outsert1
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - outsert2
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 31
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 32
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 33
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 34
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HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 36
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 37
HUMAN Capital - Winter 2017 - 38
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