Back in 2010, I posted on my SSRN site a paper called “The Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Workplace Law: A Guide for Beginners”. The landscape has changed since then, particularly with the release of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Ontario v. Fraser.
I finally got around to updating the paper to incorporate the Fraser decision, and several other lower court decisions following on its heels. If you are interested in catching up on where we are at in terms of the application of the Charter to the law of work, this is a good paper for you. I have attempted to limit the use of legal jargon and to write a summary of the law assuming no prior background in studying the Charter.
My motivation was to write something I could use when teaching the Charter to non-law students, including my graduate business students. But I think the paper is also useful for anyone interested in learning about how the Charter operates, including new law students and legal experts from other jurisdictions. It is not a ‘normative’ paper: that is, I am not making an argument or critiquing the law as I would do in a law journal paper. I am just attempting to explain it in layperson’s terms. Not an easy task, I have to say, given the complex path our Supreme Court has led us down. However, if you are interested in learning more about whether our governments can legislate wage freezes for teachers, ban the right of postal workers and airline workers to strike, or restrict the right to picket, and other such questions, this paper will give you the necessary tools upon which to build your analysis.
You can download the paper here for free. Just follow the link and hit the Download this Paper button. A pdf version will download to your computer.
As always, comments and suggestions welcome.