Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 

July 16, 2018

Marijuana LegalizationBy David S. Reiter and Lorenzo Lisi

Last month the Senate passed Bill C-45, making the use of recreational marijuana a reality as of October 17, 2018. 

Employers, especially those engaging in operations with health and safety concerns, are legitimately concerned. Is an overhaul of their practices and policies required given the legalization of marijuana? In a word… No.

Workers do not have the right to be impaired at work. And workers do not have an absolute right to consume marijuana at work. This has already been decided and was again addressed this year by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Aitchison v. L&L Painting and Decorating Ltd., 2018 HRTO 238.*

In that case, Aitchison suffered from chronic back pain and he self-medicated with marijuana. However, his employer had a zero tolerance policy in place, which required intoxicated workers to be removed from the workplace. In Aitchison’s case, his workplace was a swing stage on the outside of a building 37 floors above the ground. When he was found on the swing stage without a hard hat and untethered, while smoking marijuana, his employer sent him home. Aitchison said that it was his right to consume marijuana at work. His employer disagreed… and terminated him.

Aitchison complained to the tribunal, arguing that his employer’s zero tolerance policy was discriminatory. The tribunal disagreed. It found that

  • the policy against intoxication was rationally connected to a legitimate health and safety concern at the worksite
  • it had been adopted with an honest good faith belief that it was necessary to achieve health and safety
  • it was reasonably necessary to accomplish that purpose

This is not discriminatory. It lines up with the law that has been in place in Canada for the past 19 years, and it just makes sense.

What does this mean for employers? It means that policies concerning impairment at work are the means by which you address recreational use of marijuana. If your worksite is safety sensitive and intoxication poses a real and pressing concern to worker safetynot only can you implement a policy to prohibit marijuana consumption (or consumption of any substance which causes impairment) on the job, but you should already have one in place in light of your obligation to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of your workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Employers have been addressing impairment at work for years. The advent of recreational marijuana means only that the policy can no longer treat marijuana as an “illegal substance.” It does not mean that employees are permitted to use it at work or that they can show up to work impaired.

In other words, while things may change, in many ways they will stay the same.

David S. Reiter and Lorenzo Lisi are partners at Aird & Berlis LLP and members of the firm’s Litigation Group and Occupational Health & Safety Group, which Lorenzo Lisi leads. He has extensive experience in grievance and labour board litigation, injunctive proceedings, responding to union organizing and applications for certification, collective bargaining, and grievance arbitration; 416-865-7722; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. David S. Reiter regularly assists clients with respect to claims stemming from incidents and other operational liabilities, and with respect to the development and implementation of strategies aimed at managing and mitigating ongoing exposure. On the quasi-criminal side, David represents clients involved in investigations, prosecutions and appeals; 416-865-4734; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Both lawyers write and speak regularly.

Image courtesy of rexmedlen at Pixabay

* Read the decision here: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onhrt/doc/2018/2018hrto238/2018hrto238.html?resultIndex=1

 

ABBDuring E.B. Horsman & Son’s (EBH) Annual General Meeting on March 5, 2019, ABB Canada was presented with the 2018 EBH Supplier of the Year award by Tyson Carvell, VP of Marketing. The award was received by Ed Atkinson, ABB Commercial & Construction Sales Manager for BC, on behalf of Rob Ruys, ABB Regional Manager for Western Canada.

Each year E.B. Horsman & Son monitors the sales and operations of each of their 600+ supplier partners. 

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SouthwireIn March 2018, Southwire announced the investment of more than US$9 million back into the lives of employees through one-time employee bonuses, expanded parental leave and a strengthened commitment to education through the Bridge Scholarship Program, a one-time opportunity for eligible hourly employees seeking to further their education through a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certification. One year later, 64 employees have been awarded the Bridge Scholarship.  

“Building organizational capability is vital to maintaining our great culture and driving business results,” says Kelley Park, Executive Vice President of Human Resources.

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CEW 6 HR 400People with low levels of coping skills are at higher risk for mental health issues and mental illness than those with high levels. Gaps in coping skills inhibit the ability to solve problems and to make healthy and effective decisions.

To examine how coping skills can predict health outcomes, Dr. Bill Howatt facilitated a doctoral research study that examined the question: “What role does an individual’s coping skills have in predicting psychological and physical health outcomes?” The study found that coping skills mattered and were, in fact, a moderator that partially explains why some individuals had better physical and psychological health outcomes than others. The study concluded that when combining a person’s coping skills with their perceived stress levels, coping skills were significant in predicting which employees were at more or less risk for health issues.

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Changing Scene

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CREECree, Inc. has signed an agreement to sell its Lighting Products business unit, which includes the LED lighting fixtures, lamps and corporate lighting solutions business for commercial, industrial and consumer applications, to Ideal Industries, Inc. for approximately US$310 million before tax impacts, including up-front and contingent consideration and the assumption of certain liabilities. Cree expects to receive an initial cash payment of US$225 million, subject to purchase price adjustments, and has the potential to receive a targeted earn-out payment of approximately US$85 million based on an adjusted EBITDA metric for Cree Lighting over a 12-month period beginning two years after the transaction closes.

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EHRC WLNElectricity Human Resources Canada is delighted to have announced its new partnership with Women Leadership Nation™ (WLN) on International Women’s Day.

Electricity Human Resources Canada is delighted to have announced its new partnership with Women Leadership Nation™ (WLN) on International Women’s Day. This strategic alliance will offer EHRC members and Leadership Accord signatories with training, development and strategy support in their efforts to make progress in closing the Gender Gap.

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ABB Showcases Its Vision of Leadership in Digital Industries at ABB Customer World 2019

Show ReportBy Line Goyette

Leaders and innovators from business, government and the education sector gathered for this ABB premier collaboration event. More than 11,000 delegates attended the bi-annual ABB Customer World Houston 2019 from March 4 to 7 in Houston, Texas. ABB’s latest pioneering technologies were displayed over 150,000 sq ft of a colourful, buzzy display of futuristic conveyor belts and robots, an ABB Formula E Generation 2 car, and much more groundbreaking technology.

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Peers & Profiles

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National ManufacturingExcellence in Manufacturing Consortium EMC’s Advantage through Excellence: Future of Manufacturing Conference is a 2½ day event exploring the competitive advantages, opportunities and successes that can be achieved by manufacturers through a variety of learning forums — up to 40 workshops, panel sessions, keynote presentations and best practice plant tours — providing delegates with outstanding opportunities for benchmarking, peer networking, learning and sharing of hundreds of best practices. An estimated 500 to 900 manufacturing leaders and stakeholders from across Canada are expected to attend. 

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Rick McCartenBy Rick McCarten

I think it was Bill Gates who said the Internet will not have an effect on society short term, but will have a profound effect on us long term. 

Long term versus short term fascinates me. Making the call for one over the other can determine the success (or failure) of companies today. 

Using Bill Gates’ long-term Internet effect example, means that business decisions about the Internet will not necessarily show short-term gain, but will show “profound” gain in the long term.

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CEW 3 Perspective 400

We often learn how to look forward by first looking back, or at the very least we realize that despite our best efforts we have not truly advanced quite so much as we had thought. Sure, technology is rapidly advancing. That’s beyond question. But what about our approach to selling it? Have we changed that much in the last 20, 40, 60 years? Inevitably there have been advances and changes in marketing, the Internet causing the biggest shift, but many of the concerns and directives that have driven the distribution and marketing of industrial electrical products remain, or at least planted the roots of the concerns of manufacturers and distributors today. 

To gain perspective of the perceptions and directions of electrical product distribution in 1960, we turn to Edwin H. Lewis. In 1960 Lewis published “The Distribution of Industrial Electrical Products” in the Journal of Marketing.

To fully define electrical product distribution in 1960, Lewis broke his study into several categories. We will follow his direction and provide his insights on the industry in each of the categories he identified.

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Looking Back

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Ms. Levy, a pre-med student from Toronto who recently received her BA in Biology while attending Yishiva University in New York.

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Looking BackLooking BackIn the 1930s to 1940s, CEDA’s Western Canada membership was very stable with old line independent companies like Horsman, Ashdowns, Brettell, Marshall Wells, Electrical Supplies Ltd., etc.

Small electrical distributors just were not acceptable for membership as they did not carry the main-line manufacturers’ goods, publish a wiring device catalogue, or employ four to five salesmen as CEDA requested.

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