Dirk L. Van de Kamer

Partner | Toronto

416.595.8549

Portrait of Dirk L.  Van de Kamer

Be Careful How You Downsize

Many employers face the need to downsize from time to time.  Instead of proceeding with layoffs, some offer voluntary severance packages (VSPs) in the hope of achieving staffing reductions in a relatively pain and conflict free manner. A recent Ontario...

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Ontario Court of Appeal Applies Settled Law on Constructive Dismissal and Signals Change on the Duty to Mitigate

The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc. is worthy of note for its commentary on a number of legal principles in employment law. As a result of some performance concerns, a long-serving manager of...

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Arbitration Board Finds Regular Medical Marijuana User Wrongfully Held Out of Safety-Sensitive Position for Four Years

Most people would be concerned if a person operating heavy road maintenance equipment in a large city was also a regular medical marijuana consumer, entitled by permit to consume a significant amount of marijuana on a daily basis.  In responding to...

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Smoking in the Boys’ Room: Termination Upheld for School Custodian Caught Smoking Marijuana At Work

Regrettably, some employees choose to consume alcohol and/or illegal drugs while at work.  They may do so because they have an addiction or they may do so simply because they like to and don’t feel they will get caught.  When...

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Awarding the Cost of Legal Fees in HRTO Cases

Bill 147, Human Rights Code Amendment Act (Awarding of Costs), 2013 (“Bill 147”) has passed First Reading in the Ontario Legislature and, if enacted, could significantly alter the legal landscape as it relates to the litigation of human rights issues....

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The Awarding of Costs at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario?

Bill 147, Human Rights Code Amendment Act (Awarding of Costs), 2013 (“Bill 147”) has passed First Reading in the Ontario Legislature and, if enacted, could significantly alter the legal landscape as it relates to the litigation of human rights issues....

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Ontario Arbitrator Rules Class Size Limits Apply to Full Day Kindergarten

A provision in the collective agreement between the Simcoe County District School Board (the “Board”) and ETFO was negotiated in 2009 so as to provide that no kindergarten class would exceed 23 students.  Following the negotiation of this language, the...

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Early Bell Ringing Did Not Result in Increased Instruction Time

The school bells at twelve Ottawa area elementary schools were sounding between three and ten minutes prior to the published start times of the schools. The Union filed a grievance alleging a violation of the instructional minutes maximum enshrined in...

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Appropriate for Board to Rely on Offences Committed Twenty Years Earlier

The Grievor, a bus driver/custodian, pleaded guilty to sexual offences involving minors some twenty years earlier and was convicted. The events giving rise to the conviction occurred prior to the Grievor commencing employment with the school board. One of the...

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Differential Compensation for Disabled Teacher Upheld

An Ontario arbitrator has ruled that a full time teacher who, as a result of being accommodated for her disability worked a half time schedule for a number of school years, was not entitled to a full year’s teaching experience...

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Teacher Awarded $20K in Damages for Harassment by Principal and Board Staff

A long service teacher who was given a home assignment and disciplined as a result of a variety of concerns, was found to have suffered harassment within the meaning of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the ”Code”) and awarded $20,000...

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