Our client alleged discrimination on the basis of race and that she faced threats of retaliation if she did anything about it. We negotiated a successful settlement to this case which required the employer to institute an anti-racism and anti-harassment policy with training for managers, and to hire an outside consultant to create the policy and conduct the training. The employer also paid damages to our client in an amount greater than that usually awarded by the Human Rights Tribunal. In fact, our settlement was better than what our client could have gotten from the Tribunal even if she had won!
We were successful in having a bus driver reinstated who had been terminated for impaired driving. After his termination, the employee immediately acknowledged he was an alcoholic, registered in an addiction treatment program and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholism is a recognized disability, and we successfully argued that the employer was required to accommodate this employee.
Fired Union Organizer
We represented a terminated para-transit driver at the Ontario Labour Relations Board and had him reinstated on the basis that his termination had actually been for union organizing. This employee had an excellent safety and performance record, but when the employer learned that he was handing out pro-union pamphlets to fellow employees, it began following him on his routes and terminated him shortly thereafter. The timing of the termination was “too coincidental”, and he was reinstated with back pay.
Our experienced counsel recently helped guide the expansion of an Ontario taxi workers’ union. This union is welcoming over 500 new members after the Ontario Labour Relations Board ordered that the results of a recent certification vote be counted and honoured.
Overcoming a “Last-Chance” Agreement
We recently helped get an employee reinstated, even though he was on a “last-chance” agreement. This employee, whose agreement stated that he would be terminated for another incident of aggressive behaviour, was being taunted by another employee and eventually snapped and punched him. We argued that the employee should be reinstated in spite of the “last-chance” agreement because the employer had a duty to accommodate the employee’s disability and had acted unfairly by not disciplining the employee who had been taunting him. The arbitrator agreed and ordered the terminated replaced by a 20-day suspension.
We recently got an employee reinstated due to the employer’s delay in imposing discipline. Having accused our client of tampering with its email system, the employer took over a year to even investigate the incident. The employer also delayed at arbitration, failing to produce documents even after being ordered to do so by the arbitrator. These delays led the arbitrator to reinstate the employee, even without hearing any evidence about the merits of the case itself!
Arbitration Award Upheld
We successfully convinced the Divisional Court to uphold an arbitrator’s decision to reinstate a bargaining unit employee with 30 years’ seniority. We reminded the court that seniority is the cornerstone of the trade union movement and the Court unanimously concluded that the arbitrator did not make a patently unreasonable decision. Costs were awarded to our client.
Immediate Dismissal of Challenge to Award
In another judicial review case, the Court upheld the arbitrator’s decision to return a transit operator to work following a disciplinary incident. The Court didn’t even bother to reserve its decision after reading our materials and immediately dismissed the application for judicial review and ordered costs to our client.