Stephen M. Torscher

Partner | Calgary

403.298.2445

Portrait of Stephen M.  Torscher

Episode 8: What employers need to know about workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies

In this episode, we discuss the critical issues you need to think about before rolling out a COVID-19 vaccination policy at your workplace.

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Further changes to the Alberta Labour Relations Code now in effect

Further amendments to the Labour Relations Code are now in force. Bill 32, the Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, 2020, received royal assent on July 29, 2020. Many of the amendments to the Employment Standards Code and the Labour...

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Changes to Alberta’s labour and employment laws affecting the construction industry

Earlier this summer, the Government of Alberta made good on a campaign promise to introduce a host of changes to Alberta’s labour and employment laws. Bill 32, the Restoring Balances in Alberta’s Workplaces Act, received royal assent on July 29,...

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COVID-19 related temporary layoff period extended again for Alberta employees

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta’s Employment Standards Code, RSA 2000, c E-9, stated that employees who were temporarily laid off for one or more periods exceeding, in total, 60 days within a 120-day period were deemed to have been...

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Episode 4: Re-opening your business – Key considerations in returning your employees to work

Listen to Episode 4 of Morning Commute with Miller Thomson. Miller Thomson's Labour & Employment team discusses key takeaways for businesses and organizations preparing the workplace for returning employees.

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Veronica Choy and Stephen Torscher comment on laws surrounding cannabis and travel

Canadian HR Reporter, "Travellers hazy on cannabis rules"

With cannabis legalization a year-long reality and edibles now available, many Canadians are still hazy on travel rules around the drug, according to a new survey. Many travellers are unclear on what and how much can be taken onboard a...

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Further Changes to the Canada Labour Code May be on the Way

It has been a year of change for the Canada Labour Code. In a previous article, we described the large number of changes contained within the voluminous Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled...

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Bill C-86 – Major Changes Proposed to Federal Labour and Employment Legislation

Introduction Employers should be aware of proposed changes which would provide federally regulated employees with new entitlements and corresponding employer obligations relating to leaves, hours of work, pay equity, vacation, termination of employment, reimbursement of work-related expenses, information related to...

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What’s Happening

Tom Duke, Dan Stachnik and Jill Wilkie are hosting an Occupational Health and Safety seminar on the topic, “What All Employers Need to Know” in Edmonton, AB on May 15th, 2018.  A similar seminar will be presented by Laura Mensch,...

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Random Drug and Alcohol Testing: Further Guidance Will Have to Wait

Earlier this fall, the Alberta Court of Appeal provided the latest in the ongoing random testing saga from Alberta’s oilsands. However, observers who had been anticipating some substantive guidance from the Court of Appeal may have to wait for another...

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Amendments to Alberta Labour Relations Code and Employment Standards Code

Last week, the Alberta Government introduced a series of amendments to both the Labour Relations Code and the Employment Standards Code. This followed a brief period of input from stakeholders. It is expected that the government will move quickly to...

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“Without Cause Terminations” and a Possible “Duty of Reasonable Exercise of Discretionary Powers”

In the fall of 2015, Madam Justice Yungwirth of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench penned a decision that caused employers to take notice. In Styles v Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Justice Yungwirth built upon the Supreme Court of Canada’s...

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Dealing With Bonuses and LTIP Plans Post Termination

Annual bonuses, short term incentive plans, and long term incentive plans have become important tools to reward exceptional performance and retain key employees. When an employee who is entitled to participate in these plans is terminated, the treatment of these...

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Accommodating Family Status

The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that bona fide childcare obligations are included under family status as protected grounds in the Canadian Human Rights Act. In two companion decisions released last week, Attorney General of Canada v. Fiona Johnstone...

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Alberta Introduces Compassionate Care Leave

Late last year, the Government of Alberta quietly announced that Bill 203, the Employment Standards (Compassionate Care Leave) Amendment Act, 2012, would come into force on February 1, 2014.  Bill 203 was introduced to the Alberta Legislature on November 1,...

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Court of Appeal Rejects Due Diligence Defence in Workplace Death

Businesses strive for client appreciation events that are unique and memorable.  As highlighted in a recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision, a client appreciation event hosted by XI Technologies Inc. took a turn and became unique and memorable in a...

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Beware the Boss’s Wife: Appearance-Based Discrimination in the Workplace

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Iowa, Nelson v. Knight, has received a lot of press lately. At the heart of the matter? Whether a male employer can terminate a long-time female employee because the employer’s wife is...

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Too Sick to Work, But Not to Sick to Play Softball

As employers’ counsel, we are often asked to assist with managing employees who may be taking liberties with sick days. We’ve all observed a curious spike in sick days around long weekends or events like the Calgary Stampede. A recent...

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Supreme Court of Canada Rules on Random Alcohol Testing

An employer cannot unilaterally implement random alcohol or drug testing even in a highly dangerous workplace absent a demonstrated workplace problem, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada held today: Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30...

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Alberta Court Grants Injunction Against Former Employee of Applicant

The test to determine whether a fiduciary relationship exists between an employer and a departing employee is easy to explain. The application of the test, however, is anything but simple. In the recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision, Jardine...

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