Canada’s Top Court Signals Tougher Days Ahead on Accessibility

October 11, 2007 - by: Northern Exposure 1 COMMENTS

by Tara McPhail
McCarthy Tetrault

Canadian human rights laws require employers to accommodate employees and customers with disabilities up to a point. What point? The point at which the accommodation would constitute “undue hardship” on the employer. But what makes an undue hardship? A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision appears to set a high threshold for the undue hardship defense.

The court upheld a federal regulatory order forcing Canada’s primary passenger railway operator, VIA Rail, to spend tens of millions of dollars to provide better access to passengers in wheelchairs.

The decision (Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc.) has a major impact on transport services including airlines and interprovincial bus companies. More broadly, the decision also influences the way Canadian courts and human rights tribunals are going to approach the issue of how far employers must go to accommodate employees and customers with disabilities. read more…

Welcome to Northern Exposure

October 06, 2007 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

Welcome to the introductory issue of Northern Exposure. This new e-zine and blog highlights important developments in Canadian labor and employment law and will be of special interest to companies with operations in Canada.

In addition to news articles, the blog and e-zine will include practical Employer’s Tips and Q&As to help you better understand Canadian employment law.

read more…

Categories: Commentary

Managing Employees Abroad

September 28, 2007 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

Does your company send employees into other countries? Do you employ foreign nationals in international aassignments? These situations have their own, unique complexities and legal issues. To be successful in managing its employees abroad, employers need to have an employment relationship that protects both its company and its employees. Let’s look at some of the key issues you’ll face in these situations.

1. Which company will be the employer? Do you want your American company to be the employer or should a related company in the foreign country be the employer? The answer to that question could affect which laws will apply as well as the length of service that will be recognized, applicable benefit plans, and other terms and conditions of employment.

read more…

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