previous post, we reported that an arbitrator had accepted a
union's request to impose 24-hour shifts for the City of St.
Catharines' firefighters, in spite of the city's safety
A court has now upheld the arbitrator's decision. The
court held that the city's concerns about health and safety
risks and operational considerations were not supported by evidence
of actual problems with 24-hour shifts. The court also
decided that it was reasonable for the arbitrator to consider the
fact that 82% of all firefighters had "adopted and/or adapted
to" the 24-hour shift, even though only one third of fire
services had adopted the 24-hour shift. (This was because
many of the largest fire services had adopted the 24-hour shift but
many of the smaller fire services had not).
The evidence before the arbitrator was that firefighters in St.
Catharines had gotten uninterrupted sleep during 80% of their night
shifts. Further, the evidence suggested that it would be rare
that a firefighter would not get any sleep during a 24-hour
shift. As such, the arbitrator decided that the city's
concern that firefighters would be sleep deprived, and that the
sleep deprivation would compromise safety, was not justified.
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A
top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm
is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent
and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways.
Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the
communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows
that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully
completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business
challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons'
global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local,
national and global needs of private and public clients of any size
in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances. Specific Questions relating to
this article should be addressed directly to the author.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).