Employer Liability Offences

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Duty of persons directing work

217.1 Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.
2003, c. 21, s. 3.


Note up: 217.1

Offences by employers

425. Every one who, being an employer or the agent of an employer, wrongfully and without lawful authority

(a) refuses to employ or dismisses from his employment any person for the reason only that the person is a member of a lawful trade union or of a lawful association or combination of workmen or employees formed for the purpose of advancing, in a lawful manner, their interests and organized for their protection in the regulation of wages and conditions of work,
(b) seeks by intimidation, threat of loss of position or employment, or by causing actual loss of position or employment, or by threatening or imposing any pecuniary penalty, to compel workmen or employees to abstain from belonging to any trade union, association or combination to which they have a lawful right to belong, or
(c) conspires, combines, agrees or arranges with any other employer or his agent to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b),

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 382.


Note up: 425

Threats and retaliation against employees

425.1 (1) No employer or person acting on behalf of an employer or in a position of authority in respect of an employee of the employer shall take a disciplinary measure against, demote, terminate or otherwise adversely affect the employment of such an employee, or threaten to do so,

(a) with the intent to compel the employee to abstain from providing information to a person whose duties include the enforcement of federal or provincial law, respecting an offence that the employee believes has been or is being committed contrary to this or any other federal or provincial Act or regulation by the employer or an officer or employee of the employer or, if the employer is a corporation, by one or more of its directors; or
(b) with the intent to retaliate against the employee because the employee has provided information referred to in paragraph (a) to a person whose duties include the enforcement of federal or provincial law.

(2) Any one who contravenes subsection (1) [threats and retaliation against employees] is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

2004, c. 3, s. 6.


Note up: 425.1(1) and (2)

Section 217.1 was added in 2003 in response to the Westray mining disaster.[1]

Piercing the Corporate Veil

There is some authority that a provincial court judge may make a finding that has the effect of piecing the corporate veil.[2]

  1. http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/billc45.html
  2. R v 1137749 Ontario Ltd. (operating as Pro-Teck Electric), 2017 ONCJ 38 (CanLII), per O'Donnell J, at paras 16 to 18