An Ontario supervisor has been jailed for 45 days after a worker
fell off a roof and suffered permanent paralysis. Are courts
growing increasingly comfortable jailing supervisors for serious
wrote about this case in May 2013 after the court found the
company, the supervisor and another company representative guilty
of charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The
court has now imposed its sentence.
According to the Ministry of Labour's press release, the
worker worked for a company engaged in "garbage removal and
hauling". He was removing shingles from a roof, and fell
off the roof after tossing loose shingles toward a bin. The
worker said that he had not been trained in the use of fall
protection equipment, nor was any such equipment provided in the
company-supplied truck used for transportation to and from the job
site. As well, the worker said that the company's
practice was to pay cash for their work, and that he worked on
an on-call basis. The worker identified J.R. Contracting Property
Services as the employer and one Teisha Lootawan as the
The court determined that J.R. Contracting Property Services was
the "employer". The court also determined that Lootawan
was a supervisor under the OHSA. Lootawan had failed as a
supervisor to ensure that a worker wore protective devices as
required by law, and failed as a supervisor to take the reasonable
precaution of ensuring that an adequate form of fall protection was
provided where a worker was exposed to a fall hazard of more than
The court sent Lootawan to jail for 45 days, imposed a
$75,000.00 fine on the company, and fined the other company
representative $2,000.00 for obstructing a Ministry of Labour
inspector by refusing to answer any of the inspector's
The Ministry of Labour's press release may be accessed here.
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Labour and employment law had some interesting developments in 2016. What follows are a few highlights from the last year and an introduction to an issue that may attract significant attention in 2017.
Businesses and employers face exposure to a variety of claims for mismanagement or misuse of personal information by employees. Damages may depend on how sensitive the information is and how it is misused.
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