The Ontario Labour Relations Board has held that Minutes of
Settlement signed in the settlement of an application at the Human
Rights Tribunal of Ontario, barred the employee from advancing
employment standards and health and safety complaints relating to
the pre-settlement – but not post-settlement –
On March 31, 2014, the employee settled the HRTO application and
gave a release of all claims "arising from my employment
with" the employer.
She later filed a complaint with the Ontario Ministry of Labour
under the Employment Standards Act and a reprisal
complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board under the
Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The OLRB decided that the HRTO settlement barred any complaints
relating to events occurring on or before March 31, 2014, the date
of the HRTO settlement. However, it did not bar any complaints
relating to events after that date.
This case is a reminder to employers that a release signed by an
employee may not bar legal proceedings relating to events that
occurred after the release was signed. Employers should, when
entering into settlements, carefully consider the wording of the
release to ensure that it is broad enough to adequately protect the
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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