pink sign for step free route

This post is continuing our series on the role of human rights legislation in British Columbia law. Between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, the BC Human Rights Tribunal had disability cited as the ground of discrimination in 44% of cases filed with the Tribunal. An issue that arises in nearly every case of […]

pride flag flying

Human rights are an important legal issue for all Canadians. The Canadian Human Rights Act (enacted in 1977) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (added to the Constitution of Canada in 1982), along with provincial statutes such as the British Columbia Human Rights Code are the legislative basis for human rights in Canada today. These statutes set out minimum protections for each Canadian. However the rights, contexts, and available remedies can get complicated very quickly.

Experiencing a breach of your human rights can be a personal and overwhelming situation. But the number of different venues, remedies, and rights can make the situation even more of a headache. Read more

human right law

It is often said that there are no rights unless there is a remedy for the breach of that right. In British Columbia, the BC Human Rights Code sets out rights of individuals to be protected from discrimination in a variety of different settings, including employment, housing, and services generally available to the public.

Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence that is related to a protected characteristic (e.g., race, gender, disability, religion, or family status). Most people are capable of identifying at least on a superficial level whether they have suffered discrimination. However, people have trouble identifying are the available remedies under the Human Rights Code for discrimination. In this blog post, we hope to identify some of the common remedies sought from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal. Read more

marriage-breakdown

HOM successfully argues dismissal of family law claim for being two-weeks too late. Acting for the Respondent in a family law matter, HOM lawyer, Esteban T. Kähs, persuaded the Court to dismiss the Claimant’s division of asset and spousal support claims summarily for being filed with the court two weeks too late. As noted in […]

Are you a worker injured in a motor vehicle collision?

You may have a choice on how to obtain compensation for your injuries.

If you are a worker injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, and the negligent party is not  an employer or another worker acting in the course of their employment (i.e. protected by the Workers Compensation Act), then you can claim compensation from WorkSafeBC (as a worker) or start a law suit against the negligent person. This is called an “election” and this page discusses how you can use this process for your benefit.

If the potential defendant is a worker or employer acting in the course of employment, then you do not have a choice. The Worker’s Compensation Act legally requires you to seek worker’s compensation through WorkSafeBC.

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government building

How do I know if I have an insurable interest?

This was a question that the lawyers at Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt recently argued on behalf of an insurance policy beneficiary. The insurance company denied the holder of the policy a fire insurance claim because – the insurance company said – there was no insurable interest. Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt disagreed. Ultimately, the defendant brought an application to dismiss the claim, but the court sided with us on the coverage of the insurance holder in Angleland Holdings Inc. v Lloyd’s Underwriters, 2021 BCSC 2019.

What is an insurable interest?

The factor that distinguishes an insurance policy from a bet at a Casino or wager is that a person has some relation to or concern in the subject of insurance (see Kosmopoulous v Constitution Insurance Co., [1987] 1 SCR 2). For example, a person cannot take out an insurance policy on their neighbour’s home in case of fire or earthquake damage because they have no relation to or concern in the subject. However, if that person had an accepted offer to purchase that same property then they could purchase an insurance policy on that home.

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lady justice human rights complaints

In today’s blog post, we are looking at the BC Supreme Court decision of Verigen v Ensemble Travel Ltd, 2021 BCSC 1934. This decision provides an example of the types of issues employers can find with severance clauses in contracts and it also addresses an ongoing theme of employment dismissals during the pandemic.

Background

The employer carries on business as an international travel agency cooperative with an office in Toronto. The plaintiff was a sales manager and business development director in the tourism and hospitality industry for 30 years. In late 2018, she applied for a position with the employer as its business development director for Western Canada and she was offered the job on February 5, 2019. Attached to the email was a formal offer letter, which the plaintiff accepted. The plaintiff started work on February 18, 2019.

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BC Courts Hinkson Decision 2021

In a recent judgment in the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v British Columbia (Attorney General), 2021 BCSC 348, the issue before Chief Justice Hinkson was the constitutionality of legislation enacted by the NDP government, which, on April 1, 2019, moved the venue for deciding the value of motor vehicle accident claims from the courts to the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”).

The challenge was brought by the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. whose mandate it is to protect the rights of individual British Columbians, including the right of access to the superior courts and the preservation of those courts’ independence and historic functions.

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BC Law Firm Obtains $373,000 Win for Sexual Assault Victim | HOM Law

Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt recently obtained an award of $373,000 in damages for a sexual assault perpetrated by a massage therapist, in the case of N. M. v. Contreras-Ramirez, 2021 BCSC 1341.

You can find the court’s decision about our client’s claim here, and a recent Vancouver Sun article about this decision and our client’s significant damages award here.

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Did you know that the British Columbia Employment Standards Act regulates employment agencies?

It is true. The BC Employment Standards Act sets out parameters governing the definition and regulation of employment agencies in British Columbia.

Section 1 of the Act defines an employment agency as follows:

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