Federal Court

Labour and Employment Law

Labour and employment law


Employer had no policies but evidence not supporting conclusion workplace was not free of abuse
Temporary foreign worker program (TFWP). Employer was family farm that utilized TFWP. Employers under TFWP had to agree to comply with various conditions outlined in ss. 209.3 and 209.4 of Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Employer was subjected to inspection process due to allegations of poor working and living conditions and physical abuse. Minister of Employment and Social Development found employer to be non-compliant with respect to wages, working conditions, and retention and provision of documents, and to have failed to make any reasonable efforts to provide workplace free of abuse. Minister banned employer from accessing TFWP for two years and published employer’s information on ineligibility list. Employer brought application for judicial review. Application granted in part. Minister’s decision with respect to employer’s failure to make reasonable efforts to provide workplace free of abuse was set aside and returned to minister with directions. While employer had not had any abuse-free workplace policies and procedures, there was no basis to support conclusion that employer had not provided workplace that was free of abuse. Minister’s decision with respect to employer’s noncompliance with wage, working condition, and documentation requirements was upheld. Contrary to employer’s contention, decision included consideration of whether breaches were justified. Justifications provided had not been sufficiently supported by reliable evidence and had not met explicit criteria set out in regulations.
Obeid Farms v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Social Development) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 815, 2017 FC 302, Peter Annis J. (F.C.).

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