- Casual employment
- Right to sue
The defendant corporation sold and installed farm equipment, and was engaged by a farm to construct a grain silo. The farm agreed to provide unskilled manual labour to assist the defendant's workers, and hired the plaintiff as one of the labourers. The plaintiff was injured while removing scaffolding and brought a civil action against the corporation and its owner. The defendants applied for a declaration that the plaintiff's right to pursue a civil action was taken away by the WSIA.The application was denied. The plaintiff's right to sue was not taken away by the Act, as she came within the exception in s. 11(1)(a) for workers whose employment is of a casual nature and who are employed otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's industry. The plaintiff's employment was of a casual nature, as she was engaged by the farm to provide unskilled manual labour only for the purpose and duration of the construction of the grain silo. She was also "employed otherwise than for the purposes of the employer's industry." The Act does not provide a definition of "purposes of the employer's industry" and any determination as to whether an activity is for such purposes will be highly fact specific. An activity which is a component of the means of producing the employer's product or service is not likely to be "for the purposes of the employer's industry," while an activity that is a product or service provided to customers is likely to be for such purposes. The farm produced dairy products and grain. While the construction of the grain silo was a necessary component of the production of grain, it was not an activity within the scope of the farm's industry. The farm did not construct or sell grain silos for other farms, nor did it store grain for other farms. The product sold in the farm's industry was grain. It was significant that the farm contracted out the construction of the grain silo, as businesses will not generally engage other companies to perform work that is central to the purposes of their industry. Rather, they will do so for work that is ancillary to the purposes of their industry.