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Employment & Labour

Unjust dismissal under CLC covers dependent contractors

By Barry B. Fisher

In an adjudication under Part III of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) (unreported decision dated April 9, 2017), Adjudicator Daniel Cameron had to determine whether or not a dependent contractor was considered a ”person” under s. 240, which is the unjust dismissal part of the Code.

The term ”dependent contractor” is found in s. 3 of the Code in Part I – Industrial Relations.

In that same section, a dependent contractor is included in the definition of “employee” for the purpose of Part I.

However there is no similar definition section under Part III, so the issue is whether a dependent contractor is also considered an employee under that section.

The adjudicator reviewed a number of previous unjust dismissal decisions, the Supreme Court decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada (9 2016 SCR 29) and a Hansard quote from 1978 when John Munroe, the Federal Minister of Labour introduced the unjust dismissal legislation.

He then concluded that as the individual was a dependent contractor rather than a independent contractor, that he was covered by the unjust dismissal provisions and thus awarded him the balance of his term under his fixed term contract, which came to eight months or $30,000.

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