Yet Another Test for Family Status Discrimination - The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario Muddies the Waters
After the release of the 2014 Federal Court of Appeal decision in Johnstone v. Canada (“Johnstone”), it appeared Ontario employers had some certainty in the approach being adopted by adjudicators on how to establish discrimination on the basis of family status.
A “Private Right of Action” under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation - Upping the ante on anti-spam violations
Most employers should already be familiar with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (“CASL”)1, which came into force on July 1, 2014.
The Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report - Executive Summary
In February of 2015, the Government of Ontario announced it was going to review issues and trends that affect workers and employers in the modern workplace.
National Labor Relations Board Makes it Easier for Unions to Certify Employers
In a recent decision the U.S. National Labor Relations Board has, once again, significantly changed the way in which it adjudicates Applications for Certification so as to make it easier for unions to secure bargaining rights.
Amendments to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) Coming July 1, 2016
On July 1, 2016 amendments to the AODA will take effect. One of the most significant changes is the consolidation of the Accessibility Standards for Customers Service (“Customer Service Standard”) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards (“IAS”) into a single Accessibility Standard.
“Vaccinate or Mask” Policy Found to Be Unreasonable
Flu season is upon us and many employers are paying close attention to the recent arbitration decision in Sault Area Hospital v Ontario Nurses Association.
Ontario Launches “AODA” Targeted Audits of Retailers with 500 or More Employees
The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure has launched a blitz of large retailers to ensure they meet the requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”).
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) - What’s Coming Down the Pipe?
As of January 1, 2016 every private sector organization will have new obligations under the Integrated Accessibility Standards (“IAS”) of the AODA.
National Labor Relations Board’s New Interpretation of ‘Joint Employer’ A Game Changer
On August 27, 2015, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released its long awaited decision in Browning Ferris Industries, fundamentally altering the analysis used to determine if two or more entities are considered “joint employers” for purposes of union organizing and other aspects of the National Labour Relations Act.
The Changing Workplaces Review: Public Consultations to Strengthen Ontario Labour Laws
The Changing Workplaces Review (“Review”) involves a series of public consultations to solicit views on reforming Ontario’s labour and employment law regime, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”).
The Ghomeshi Affair - What Can Employers Learn?
By now everyone has heard or read about the facts and recommendations contained in the investigation report prepared for the CBC concerning the actions of former Q radio host, Jian Ghomeshi (the “Report”).
New Working at Heights Training Standard
In an attempt to elevate the profile and importance of preventing falls from heights in the workplace, the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness Training Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been amended to include new training requirements for workers working at heights (“New Standard”).
Ontario Government Introduces - It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment
In June 2010, the Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended to include employer responsibilities relating to workplace violence and harassment. Every employer was required to prepare policies and programs including a reporting mechanism and information on how the employer will investigate and deal with an incident or complaint.
New legal duty of honest performance: What it could mean for employers
The Supreme Court of Canada recently identified a new legal doctrine – a duty of honest performance - requiring parties to be honest with each other in relation to the performance of their contractual obligations (Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71 (CanLII)).
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act - Reminder: Reporting Deadline December 1, 2014
By December 31, 2014, private sector organizations are required to file certain reports confirming compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Managing a Workplace Ebola Scare
“Ebola Virus Disease” The words strike fear in the hearts of employees and employers alike. Particularly in Canada’s multicultural society, where international travel is prevalent, concerns over employee exposure increase with each reported Ebola case.
Privacy Breach May Prove More Costly for Healthcare Employers
A recent Ontario class action against the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (“PRHC”), for misuse of patient information has called into question whether a proceeding under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”) is the only recourse available for a breach of privacy in the health sector.
Labour Board Serves Up Shocker To McDonald’s - Finds franchisor potentially liable for employment practices of franchisees’
On July 29, 2014 the General Counsel of the National Labour Relations Board ruled that McDonald’s USA, LLC (“McDonald’s ”) could be held liable as a joint employer in 43 wage and labour complaints related to the operations of independent franchises. This procedural ruling has the potential to radically undermine the employment-related advantages of franchising arrangements in the United States.
Supreme Court of Canada Rules Wal-Mart Closing Unlawful
Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled that Wal-Mart Canada Corp. violated Quebec’s labour laws when it closed a store in Jonquière almost a decade ago, eight months after its employees voted in favour of unionization with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and following months of unsuccessful negotiation with the union.
The Kids Are Alright
Family Status Clarified by the Federal Court of Appeal
Family status has become a hot topic in workplace human rights. The issue is made more interesting given decision-makers across the country have come to different conclusions on the scope and content of family status accommodation, leading to significant uncertainty.
Hiring Students This Summer?
The Ministry of Labour is Watching
Between May and August 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) will perform a province wide summer safety “blitz” of workplaces with young workers (aged 14 to 24) and/or new workers who have been in a job for less than six months.
Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Enforcement initiatives & how to make your voice heard
In June 2005, the Ontario Government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”). The goal of the AODA is to make Ontario accessible to persons with disabilities by the year 2025.” targeted at areas of daily living. The two Accessibility Standards passed thus far are: the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service (the Customer Service Standard) and the Integrated Accessibility Standards.
Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training
Ontario Regulation 297/13
Compliance Requirements for Ontario Employers
In November 2013, Ontario Regulation 297/13 (the "Regulation") became part of Ontario's health and safety laws under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the "Act"). The Regulation requires all Ontario employers to ensure workers and supervisors complete a basic occupational health and safety awareness training program by July.
Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act
Compliance Deadline of January 1, 2014
Is your Workplace Ready?
Under the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standards, organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario ("Large Organizations") are required to comply with a number of new accessibility requirements by January 1, 2014.
Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act - Bill 146
What's coming down the pipe?
On December 4, 2013, the Ontario government introduced Bill 146, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013. Bill 146 seeks to amend several key employment related statutes with a view to protecting workers historically considered 'vulnerable'.
'Managerial Exemption' Enforcement Blitz - Is your retail operation prepared?
The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) is currently conducting a proactive enforcement blitz under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) targeting "Retail Services" including retail chains, franchises, gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. The blitz is scheduled to last from October to December 2013.
Background Screening Under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010
Is Your Retirement Home Ready?
This article will assist retirement home operators to understand the RHA’s new screening requirements and to comply with them in a practical and efficient manner. We will review: (I) the substantive legal requirements of the amendments; (II) to whom the requirements apply; (III) human rights considerations; and (IV) best practices and practical considerations for compliance.
It Isn't Time to Throw Away Your Workplace Computer Policies!
...despite the Supreme Court of Canada's recent decision in R. v. Cole
The Supreme Court's decision in R. v. Cole therefore does not directly affect the way non-governmental employers must deal with workplace computer systems and their employees' expectations of privacy.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is the first regulation to come into force under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
New York Shooting a Grim Reminder for Employers
The termination of employment can be a shocking and traumatic and, in the most extreme cases, can lead to tragic events. Last week's shooting at the Empire State Building - when a terminated employee shot a former colleague - is a grim reminder of this reality.
Hot Workers & Hot Workplaces
Don't sweat it - tips for fulfilling employer health and safety obligations
As the peak of summer is upon us, an employer should be mindful of its legal duty to protect employees from danger or injury resulting from work in hot temperatures.
Notice to Employers
Re: Federal Election, May 2, 2011
A Federal election will take place on May 2, 2011.
The following summarizes an employer's obligation to provide an employee with time off to vote, under the Canada Elections Act.
Stock Room Costs Retailer Injured Worker, Conviction, $50,000 Fine and Bad Press
The cost of not having a 'health and safety culture' can be devastating to a business.
H1N1 Virus Pandemic
Don't Panic - Be Proactive
On April 29, 2009 the World Health Organization raised its H1N1 Virus alter level to Phase 5, only one rating level short of an official global pandemic.
Mandatory Retirement Ends in Ontario
As 2006 draws to a close, two important developments on the legislative front in Ontario - both affecting human rights - merit close attention...