Appalling Harassment Stories, Wrongful Dismissals and More.

Appalling Harassment Stories, Wrongful Dismissals and More in BC

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Each month, Spraggs Law publishes Vancouver Legal News, a curated selection of articles about legal issues discussed in the news. This month, we’re covering two appalling harassment stories in BC, followed by a wrongful dismissal case, job terminations, the potential end of mandatory sick notes and more.

Two Different but Similarly Appalling Harassment Stories in BC

Café owner faces an indecent proposition

Running a business is hard enough without dealing with a problematic or indecent landlord. A cafe owner in Metro Vancouver “has filed a human rights complaint against her two former landlords.” The Good Wolf Café & Co. owner alleges that one of her landlords harassed her, while the other did nothing to stop it, leading to the closure of her business while she sought a new location. The café owner states that the harassment began when it came time for her to renew her lease, which she intended to do. Instead of negotiating terms and costs, one of her landlords made an indecent proposition, offering to give her a significant break on rent in exchange for dates and sexually provocative contact. Spraggs Law employment lawyer Jay Spiro is representing the café owner’s case, which he considers “appalling and blatant sexual harassment.”

A pervasive and severe workplace harassment case

It’s one of the most appalling harassment stories we’ve covered this year—the BC. Human Rights Tribunal has awarded a former personal assistant over $100,000 for enduring sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination in the workplace at the hands of her former employer. The claimant alleged she was subjected to pervasive and severe sexual, economic, emotional, and physical abuse during her employment and claimed her employers even “abandoned her in a foreign country.” This $100,000 compensation is the largest ever granted by the tribunal for such offences, highlighting the severity and lasting effects of the discrimination the victim endured.

Employment Terminations and Wrongful Dismissals

Suddenly fired and seeking answers

Former Victoria Airport staff are seeking answers following their termination. After a federal investigation into security screening at Victoria International Airport, 27 security screeners and nine other employees were fired due to multiple instances of incomplete screening at a non-passenger checkpoint. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) found the personnel failed to protect the travelling public, leading to their termination. The union representing the screeners claims CATSA interfered with the employer’s decision-making process, denying the employees a chance to appeal. 

Ordered to pay severance for wrongful dismissal 

The BC. Court of Appeal upheld a ruling ordering the Aldergrove Duty Free Shop to pay severance to a 78-year-old employee laid off during the pandemic-related border closure. The shop, a family-owned business, closed temporarily, leading to the employee’s wrongful dismissal without severance. The shop argued that the closure made performing the employee’s duties impossible, but the BC Supreme Court ruled it was a wrongful dismissal. The appeal court agreed, stating that the border closure did not change the nature of the employment contract. 

Workplace Advocacy

The potential end of mandatory sick notes

Doctors and patients are increasingly frustrated with the requirement for sick notes, especially for minor illnesses. Many healthcare providers believe that sick notes tie up the already overloaded medical system and should not be necessary for common ailments. Organizations like the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians have advocated for the ban of sick note requirements by employers. Overall, the push is to eliminate sick note requirements, promote employee trust, and improve access to paid sick leave to alleviate strain on the healthcare system.

Gig workers pushing for more

BC gig workers are demanding better treatment and regulations from the government to address issues such as low earnings, lack of transparency, and long working hours. While the Ministry of Labour is working on regulations expected this year, some drivers feel that the proposed changes may not be sufficient to address their grievances

What Do You Think?

What do you think about these updates affecting citizens, employers, and employees across Canada? If you have questions about employment lawestate lawbusiness lawpersonal injury or harassment laws for our team at Spraggs Law, we’d love to hear from you. Contact one of our lawyers in Vancouver today.

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