Benefits are always a hot topic in employment law. On January 1, 2018 the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) introduced Children and Youth Pharmacare, drug coverage for children and youth, who are otherwise covered by OHIP and aged 24 and under. OHIP is the Ontario health insurer. Ontarians have health cards, which they present at the doctor, or x-ray clinic, or emergency room, etc., as proof that they are insured by the Province. Similar systems exist in Canada’s other provinces and territories. Delivery of health services is the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories and not the federal government. Using Ontario as an example, visitors and some categories of immigrants may not be able to access Ontario’s health care, because they are not insured by the province.
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A judge in a recent wrongful dismissal action dismissed the plaintiff’s allegation that he was dismissed after making suggestions about improvements to the employer’s safety systems. The employee was a relatively short term employee (25 months), working as a Control Systems Specialist. His duties included designing, implementing and monitoring various control systems for machines manufactured by the employer.
The Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) legislation in Atlantic Canada and across the country recognizes the internal responsibility system. Everyone in the workplace is responsible for their own safety and the safety of co-workers. There is a right to refuse unsafe work and a duty to report unsafe conditions. The Prince Edward Island OHS Act for example provides:
Every workplace has hazards. However, there are hazards that are more common depending on which sector your workplace falls under. This month, we are featuring the Office Sector. We will discuss common hazards to look for to give Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) an edge when it comes to spotting and controlling hazards during their monthly workplace inspections and making recommendations to the employer. For JHSC members, these are the hazards that require the most attention in an office setting:
The Ontario Ministry of Labour is consulting on proposed changes to the safety regulation that applies to most businesses in Ontario: the Industrial Establishments regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Offices, factories, shops and restaurants – and many other workplaces – are caught by this regulation.
The legal doctrine of “absolute privilege” prevented an employee from complaining that his former employer’s lawsuit against him was in retaliation (reprisal) for the employee filing a previous safety-retaliation complaint against the same employer.
The dramatic explosions at a propane facility in Toronto in 2008 resulted in the tragic death of one worker and damage to many nearby homes. In R. v. Sunrise Propane Energy Group Inc., 2017 ONSC 6954 (CanLII), an Ontario judge has now upheld a combined fine of more than $5.3 million, plus the 25% “Victim Fine Surcharge”, against Sunshine Propane Energy Group and a related company, and two corporate directors.
A trial judge was wrong to find a City guilty of Occupational Health and Safety Act charges solely because an accident had occurred in which a worker died. The trial court should have gone further and analyzed each charge. This was the ruling in R. v St. John’s (City), 2017 NLCA 71 (CanLII).
The “accident as prima facie breach” principle has been before the court in several recent cases, often with some discrepancy in its application. The principle was again before an Alberta court recently in the context of an application for particulars.
The Ministry of Labour can prosecute employers under the “general duty” clause of the Occupational Health and Safety Act even where the charges impose obligations that are greater than those set out in the regulations under the OHSA, the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided.
Western Medical Assessments (WMA) provides expert medical assessment services to insurance companies, lawyers (both defense and plaintiff) and employers. Our reputation as one of Canada’s most respected disability assessment companies is premised on our trusted network of thousands of clinical experts — mostly specialists — across all medical disciplines (physical and psychological). We’ve been entrusted to complete 63,000 independent medical examinations (IMEs) as our clients appreciate our medical direction, evidence-based medical opinions and complete independence from any ethical conflicts of interest.