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Managing risk in not-for-cause employee terminations

My Human Resources college professors used to ask students on a regular basis when it was OK for employers to terminate employees without cause. The answer, in theory, is that the employer can terminate an employee at any time! However…

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Better the devil you know? employee’s obligation to accept an alternate position

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2008 in a case Evans v. Teamsters Local Union, the courts have recognized the obligation of an employee, in certain circumstances, to accept an offer of alternate employment from their employer following dismissal. This has put many employees in the awkward position of determining whether or not the offer of employment is one that must be accepted based on the Evans’ reasoning. The difficulty faced by many employees’ counsel is the degree of difference in the position being offered, and whether such difference justifies the employee rejecting the offer of employment.

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HR in the news: From unpaid internships to alcohol testing policies

It seems a lot of heated HR issues have begun to resurface in the news recently. From the accommodation of medical marijuana to the legality of unpaid internships, these are some issues that have been plaguing HR professionals in recent years.

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Register for the 15th Ontario Annual Employment Law Conference

The 15th Annual Ontario Employment Law Conference, is taking place June 10, 2014, at the Mississauga Convention Centre. This event is hosted by First Reference, with presentations by the lawyers at Stringer LLP experts in the areas of employment and labour law.

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Ontario Human Rights Commission releases new policy on gender identity and gender expression

On April 15, the Ontario Human Rights Commission published a new comprehensive policy entitled Policy on preventing discrimination because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression. According to the Commission, the policy…

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with three accommodation on the ground of disability.cases badly handled by employers.

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Contracting out of the Ontario Employment Standards Act

The Employment Standards Act in Ontario is legislation designed to protect the rights of all workers in the province. Under section 3, the Act specifies that it applied to any employee in the Province of Ontario, or any employee who is performing work outside of Ontario that is “…continuance of work performed in Ontario.” The Act contains numerous protections for Ontario employees, such as limiting the maximum hours of work in a week, providing an entitlement to overtime pay, and creating entitlements such as parental leave, vacation and personal leave. The Act also provides for the employee’s rights in the event of a termination of employment. Many employers have perceived these entitlements as onerous in some circumstances. In order to attempt to avoid such payments, or other obligations under the Act, employers have sought to have employees sign contracts containing provisions which purport to surrender the employee’s rights under the Act. This is generally referred to as “contracting out”.

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Good Friday, a public (statutory) holiday, Passover and Easter

On Friday April 18, 2014, also known as Good Friday, employees across Canada get a day off with regular pay or public holiday pay.

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Ontario Ministry of Labour announces 2014-15 employment standards inspection blitzes

On April 3, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced the focus of its 2014-15 Employment Standards Act (ESA) inspection blitzes. A “blitz” occurs when the Ministry of Labour (MOL) decides to have its employment standards officers target industries that have a history of employment standards violations or industries that employ vulnerable workers in order to ensure compliance with the ESA.

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Can an employee be ordered to provide notice of termination?

An employee can be required to provide proper notice of resignation. Failure to do so could result in the employee paying damages to the employer.

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Can an employer be liable to an employee for previous service to a related employer?

In unionized industries and in particular the construction sector, there are well established rules governing when multiple companies can be considered a single employer under the law. Dozens of multiple employer applications per year are brought in Ontario alone.  The same cannot be said about common employer determinations in the non-unionized sector. However, a recent case heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with such a situation.

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Slaw: Ontario’s Ministry of Labour targets employers using unpaid internships

From April to June 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting an employment standards inspection blitz targeting organizations that employ unpaid interns. The goal is to ensure worker rights are protected and enhance employers’ awareness of their responsibilities.

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with Saskatchewan upcoming minimum wage; Ontario’s sunshine list; and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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Use of Kijiji in jobs report highlights its unreliability as a recruitment source

On February 11, 2014, Finance Canada released its 54-page “Jobs Report” alongside the Federal Budget. In that report, the Canadian Government claimed that Canada’s job vacancy rate had been “increasing steadily since 2009.” However, this claim was challenged by economists, who noted that Statistics Canada’s own figures proved it was declining. It was later concluded that the problem related to the Canadian Government’s use of data that included Kijiji job postings. In light of this development, employers that wish to advertise jobs in connection with the filing of a Labour Market Opinion application should avoid the use of free websites such Kijiji or Craigslist.

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Citizenship and Immigration Canada warns stakeholders not to give immigration advice

Last year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada published a notice on its website, which provided valuable guidance regarding the giving of immigration advice. The notice focuses on: (1) travel agents, (2) employment agents and recruiters, (3) human resources professionals, (4) educational agents, (5) adoption agencies, and (6) live-in caregivers’ agents. It warns these entities not to engage in the unauthorized practice of law and indicates that merely advising someone on their immigration options can be considered unauthorized practice.

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