December 2014 Section Updates

  • December 01, 2014

Keep Current A review of provincial Section meetings

Employment Law

Meeting in Review: September 22, 2014
Speakers: Louis J. Zivot, McMillan LLP, Kaitlyn Meyer, McMillan LLP and Tyson Gratton, McMillan LLP
Topic: Just Cause – Recent Developments in Case Law

On September 22, 2014, the Employment Law Section hosted their first Section meeting of the year. Guest Speakers Louis Zivot, Kaitlyn Meyer and Tyson Gratton, all of McMillan LLP’s Vancouver office, presented an update on jurisprudence involving “just cause” allegations. This presentation canvassed Mr. Zivot and Ms. Meyer’s recent victory in the Staley v Squirrel trial/appeal, a case relating to employee relocation. Other topics discussed included social media and its effect on just cause as well as recent cases on the topics of willful disobedience and insubordination. Other noteworthy cases discussed included Grewal v Khalsa Credit Union and R v Cole. Meeting minutes and the webinar recording are available online.

Immigration Law

Meeting in Review: September 23, 2014
Speaker: Matthew Wong, Senior Development Officer, Services Canada
Topic: Overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada-US BorderOn June 20, 2014, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was overhauled in three key areas. Matthew Wong reviewed these three key areas on the September 23rd Immigration Law Section meeting. Firstly, reorganizing the TFWP: the Labour Market Impact Assessments programs (LMIA) will be divided into LMIA-exempt International Mobility Program and LMIA-required programs. Secondly, restricting access to the TFWP: the program will no longer be administered according to National Occupational Classifications. Positions where the offered wage on the LMIA application is below the provincial median wage will be considered Low-Wage, and vice versa. Lastly, stronger
enforcement: one in four employers using TFWs will be inspected each year. The recording of this Section meeting, along with the minutes, are available for CBA members to review online.

General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Lower Mainland

Meeting in Review: October 9, 2014
Speaker: Gradin D. Tyler, Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP
Topic: Employment Law 101

Gradin D. TylerThe General Practice, Solo & Small Firm – Lower Mainland Section has been running a series of “Law 101” sessions. This year alone, the Section has had presentations on Environmental Law, Immigration Law, Securing Fees and Employment Law. The purpose of these meetings is to facilitate networking for solo and small firm practitioners. On October 9, 2014, members of the Section met for the “Employment Law 101” meeting presented by Gardin D. Tyler. His presentation included an overview on Termination of Employment, Reasonable Notice, Just Cause and Constructive Dismissal. Regardless of what area of law you practise, meetings such as these are useful and informative and provide a sense of community for solo and small firm practitioners who may sometimes feel isolated. Meeting minutes and recording can be found online. To request a possible topic please contact the Section Executive.

Labour Law

Meeting in Review: October 29, 2014
Speaker: Michael Wagner, Roper Greyell LLP and Stephanie Drake, Victory Square Law Office LLP
Topic: Updated on Family Status Discrimination

Michael Wagner and Stephanie DrakeOn October 29, 2014, Michael Wagner and Stephanie Drake reviewed and discussed the recent trends and implications of what is arguably the least understood ground of protection under human rights legislation – family status. The term “family status” is not defined in the BC Human Rights Code, but encompasses one’s status as parent or child, among other relationships. Michael and Stephanie contrasted the “employer-friendly” test for discrimination on the basis of family status that continues to apply in BC with two recent decisions from the Federal Court of Appeal that set a different threshold for engaging human rights protections on this ground. Also discussed was an employer’s obligation to accommodate an employee’s eldercare obligations. In BC these obligations are, at least for now, also subject to the more restrictive “employer-friendly” test. Given that other provincial jurisdictions, and now the Federal Court of Appeal, have declined to apply the more restrictive test currently in place in BC, it is likely only a matter of time before the test in BC is revisited. The meeting minutes and recording are available for CBA members to view online.