Watch our latest video with Ascend Legal 101 where we discuss BC employment law in a changing world. With the COVID-19 pandemic still present, some people may be refusing to work due to concerns of unsafe work environments. Listen to our chat to learn more about this topic as well as our professional opinions on the matter.
The Workers Compensation Act provides workers with access to benefits for injuries or illnesses that they have suffered in the course of and arising out of their employment. In the right circumstances, a workplace condition can include an infectious disease such as COVID-19. The WorkSafeBC policy requires the individual to have part of their employment be a factor that increases the likelihood that they will become exposed to COVID-19. While this policy was likely drafted with hospital and medical staff in mind, it also likely includes grocery store clerks, pharmacy workers, truck drivers, and other essential workers.
The requirements for compensation under WorkSafeBC for COVID-19 are:
- Evidence that the worker has contracted COVID-19, either through a medical diagnosis in a medical report, or non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.
- The worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.
The law has a few legal mechanisms available to analyze how a global pandemic may impact contractual obligations between people in our society, and we will address two in this blog post.
The first is found in many commercial contracts. These contracts often contain clauses that address events that are beyond the contracting-parties’ control, which are often referred to as “force majeure” clauses.
The second is a common law doctrine that is often applied to contracts, including employment contract, that fail to have specific clauses. This doctrine is called the law of frustration.
A recent case from the BC Supreme Court addresses both legal principles so it is a useful summary to address these principles and how they may be looked at in the context of COVID-19.
In short, no. If you believe that you have a potential claim, then you need to set our your factual allegations and claims before the time limit set in the BC Human Rights Code. That goes for most claims, and is also true for the work discrimination case example below.
An employer may terminate and employee for many different reasons, such as: selling the business; employee misconduct; bankruptcy; business restructuring; and many others. It would be impossible to cover all scenarios in this one post. However, we can offer some general guidelines for all employers, who need to embark upon the unfortunate situation of firing an employee.
There has been some news that a number of changes to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) have started on September 1, 2019. This comes after the Canadian government recently stated a number of amendments from Bill C-63, Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2, and Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2. These legislation amendments will affect the rights and responsibilities of an estimated 900,000 federal employees and about 18,000 federally regulated employers.
These specific amendments relate to Part III of the Code, the labour standards that are related to many different topics from vacations, breaks, leaves of absences, holiday pay, scheduling, and more.
As part of our “claim time limitations” series we have covered many specific scenarios from general tort claims and employment dispute / human rights claims, as well as divorce/separation claims and claims against municipalities too. In this post, we want to touch on time limitations when it comes to Builders Liens. Please see below for more details.
Getting fired or “let go” from an employer is not a pleasant scenario. This is especially the case if an employer fails to abide by their legal obligations. This post will address wrongful dismissals and the process for filing claims. Please see below for more details on what constitutes a valid wrongful dismissal claim (and what does not), as well as some details to keep in mind for anyone thinking about submitting such a claim.
Everyone wants to be financially secure, and for many this means being employed by an employer. Although we want to stay optimistic about how the employer treats their employees, there are still cases where employers treat employees unfairly and may in fact be breaking the Employment Standards Act (ESA). If you find yourself witnessing this type of situation, you may want to think about filing a formal complaint claim. If you do in fact want to file an employment standards complaint claim in BC, it’s important to know the amount of time you have to file if there are any deadlines.
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