Canadian court affirms duty to accommodate employees’ family obligations but not personal choices

June 29, 2014 - by: Stephanie Gutierrez 0 COMMENTS

By Stephanie Gutierrez

In a recent decision on family-status discrimination, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed that employers in Canada are required to accommodate employees’ childcare obligations but not their voluntary parental choices, such as extracurricular or recreational activities. read more…

Toronto employer liable because of inadequate investigation of human rights complaint

June 22, 2014 - by: Alix Herber 0 COMMENTS

By Alix Herber

Inadequate investigation of employees’ discrimination complaints can expose employers to human rights damages. This is so even when employers do most things right. read more…

Employers need to understand injury reporting obligations

June 15, 2014 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

By Rosalind H. Cooper

In most provinces across Canada, occupational health and safety legislation requires that employers and other workplace parties report injuries and incidents to the appropriate government ministry.

While most reporting requirements relate to workplace injuries, there are also requirements to report certain types of incidents regardless of whether there is an associated injury. Most of these legislative provisions require strict compliance with tight reporting timelines. read more…

Hiring new and young staff this summer? Think safety first!

June 08, 2014 - by: Deanah Shelly 0 COMMENTS

By Deanah Shelly

A few summers ago, Ontario employers were surprised by a monthlong young worker safety inspection blitz. During the blitz, Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors visited 2,024 workplaces across Ontario and issued 5,862 orders. Of those, 105 were stop-work orders, forcing workplaces to stop production until they complied with the listed requirements.

On May 1, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour began yet another blitz — this time for four months and again focused on new and young worker safety. While this blitz is an Ontario initiative, many provinces across Canada are taking similar proactive measures to improve safety in the workplace for this group of vulnerable workers. read more…

‘But it was due to my addiction’—when is last-minute confession too late?

June 01, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

It is not uncommon for an employee to disclose an addiction only when being terminated for misconduct that may be related to the employee’s substance abuse. The employee then tries to trigger human rights protections due to his or her “disability.” A recent Alberta court decision, Bish v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, provides a good example of when such a claim may simply be too little, too late, even under Canada’s protective human rights laws. read more…

Bonuses may be part of equation when calculating pay in lieu of notice

May 25, 2014 - by: Myriam Robichaud 0 COMMENTS

By Myriam Robichaud

Most employers in Canada understand that when terminating an employee, reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice must be provided. While this principle appears simple, determining which elements of compensation must be included in pay in lieu of notice can be complicated. read more…

Canada’s temporary foreign worker program: new emphasis on enforcement

May 18, 2014 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

By Thora Sigurdson

As we reported earlier, in response to increasing concerns about the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC) have stepped up enforcement. read more…

Will the abolishment of mandatory retirement result in longer notice periods?

May 11, 2014 - by: Northern Exposure 3 COMMENTS

By Ralph N. Nero and Nicole R. Singh

You’re about to terminate an employee’s employment without cause. He’s been with you for 30 years, earns $100,000, has a middle management position, and is 69 years old. He could retire with a full pension. Surely you don’t have to provide him with a severance package? Absolutely, say Canadian courts. read more…

Limiting an arbitrator’s jurisdiction to modify last chance agreements

May 04, 2014 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

By Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements are a tool commonly used by workplace parties in Canada to give an employee accused of serious or repeated misconduct one last chance to keep his or her job. These agreements are sometimes used to manage an employee’s absenteeism, poor job performance, or drug or alcohol addiction. They may also be used to manage more serious employee misconduct such as insubordination, fighting, or harassment in the workplace. read more…

Clear offer of employment needed to argue mitigation

April 27, 2014 - by: Katherine Pollock 0 COMMENTS

By Katherine Pollock

Want to change a Canadian employee’s terms or conditions of employment? It’s not as easy as it once was.

Depending on the nature of the change, it may amount to constructive dismissal. If it does amount to constructive dismissal, simply providing notice of the change may not be sufficient—as the Court of Appeal taught us in Wronko v. Western Inventory Service Ltd. To make matters worse, contrary to what was once expected, an employee may not even need to quit to sue for constructive dismissal. read more…

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