Easing the Burden of Proof on Failure to Mitigate? : Logan v. Numbers Cabaret Ltd.

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In any wrongful dismissal lawsuit, you are almost certain to find the defence that the worker “failed to mitigate” their losses. In common terms, this little bit of legalese suggests that the worker failed to take reasonable steps to find comparable employment, and as a result, they should be awarded less damages for their termination. While often pled, arguments on the failure to mitigate often fall flat. The reason for this is that it’s been the employer’s responsibility to demonstrate that a worker has failed to mitigate, or in the words of the Supreme Court of Canada: “i) the employer bears the onus of demonstrating both that that an employee has failed to make reasonable efforts to find work and ii) that work could have been found”: see Evans v. Teamsters, Local 31, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 661. This can be extremely difficult to do.

However, a recent BC Supreme Court decision may suggest that the onerous task of proving a mitigation defence is easing. Continue reading “Easing the Burden of Proof on Failure to Mitigate? : Logan v. Numbers Cabaret Ltd.”

Paying Disabled Workers Less than Minimum Wage: How is this Still a Thing?

There is a great weekly segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight  called “How is this still a thing?”, where host John Oliver attacks irrelevant norms such as Daylight Savings Time or social prejudice such as Holllywood whitewashing. Well, I have a suggestion to Mr. Oliver for an upcoming segment: laws permitting the payment of wages to disabled workers that are below the minimum wage. In 2016, how the hell is this still a thing?

I was very surprised this week when I stumbled across an article describing how the Alberta government will be “reviewing” language in its Employment Standards Code allowing employers to seek a permit to pay disabled workers less than the minimum wage. Apparently, similar laws were also in place in Saskatchewan and Manitoba until they were repealed, leaving Alberta the last province standing. Continue reading “Paying Disabled Workers Less than Minimum Wage: How is this Still a Thing?”

Increasing Damages for Workplace Discrimination : The Presteve Foods Case

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Across Canada, Human Rights Tribunals have a unique role in our legal system by enforcing protections against discrimination provided by human rights legislation. As part of their mandate, these specialized tribunals have the authority to award damages and “make whole” victims of discrimination, including:

  • Damages for past and future wage loses;
  • Damages for loss of benefits and other perquisites of employment;
  • General damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.

Continue reading “Increasing Damages for Workplace Discrimination : The Presteve Foods Case”