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First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Canada Day, a statutory (public) holiday: Canada turns 149!

Photo: Government of Canada

Every July 1, Canadians commemorate their country’s birthday. Canada turns 149 this year! In all provinces and territories, Canada Day is a statutory (public) holiday. Typically, employees do get Canada Day off with regular pay or public holiday pay (depending on the province or territory of employment). In the event employees are required to work on the public holiday, the employee must be paid regular wages and get a substituted day off with pay at a later date (again, this depends on the province or territory of employment).

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk


The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An article that looks at an agreement in principle that was reached for CPP expansion; a FAQ that addresses the validity of an employment contract that was not signed; and an article that looks at the construction union wage rate index for May 2016.

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Mandatory work experience programs for all Ontario students

On Thursday June 23, 2016, the Ontario government announced that they are considering mandatory work experience programs for all high school, college and university students.

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Introducing our newest guest blogger: De Bousquet Professional Corporation

We are very pleased to announce that the law firm De Bousquet Professional Corporation will be blogging regularly on First Reference Talks!

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Don’t make promises you can’t keep (even inadvertent ones) – a good lesson for all BC employers


The recent decision of the BC Supreme Court in Feldstein v. 364 Northern Development Corporation provides a cautionary tale for well-meaning employers seeking to provide compensation and benefits package details to candidates during the interview process.

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FAQ: Family status and child care difficulties #learnthelatest


At the June 2, 2016, Ontario Employment Law Conference, during the Q&A session, we received numerous questions on topics covered at the conference but could not address them all. From time to time, till the next conference, we will be posting and answering some of these questions on the blog.

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Celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism Day

Photo: Government of Canada

Canadian Multiculturalism Day is celebrated on June 27 of each year. According to the Government of Canada, Canadian Multiculturalism Day is an opportunity to celebrate the country’s diversity and its commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect, and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society.

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Addressing the effect that two new proposed Ontario statutory leaves may have on your organization #learnthelatest

Out of office

First Reference Talks readers and 2016 Employment Law Conference attendees were introduced to two new proposed leaves in Ontario, Employee Leave of Absence When Child Dies and Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Leave. In order to get a further grasp on what the two new proposed leaves would mean for employers, I went to employment law lawyer Frank Portman of Stringer LLP to ask a few questions I thought our readers would want answers to.

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St-Jean Baptiste Day/National Holiday, a public holiday in Quebec

In Quebec, June 24 is “la Fête nationale”, the province’s official holiday and celebration of French Canadian culture. The festivities occur on June 23 and 24, and since 1978 are publicly financed and organized by the National Holiday Organizing Committee.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk


The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: A case that applies a three-part test to determine just cause; a case that provides a reminder that both employers and employees are required to give reasonable notice of termination at the conclusion of an employment relationship; and a case where an employee failed to provide sufficient medical evidence supporting her absences, therefore her termination was deemed justified.

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To defer or not to defer a human rights application: What are the relevant questions?


Where the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario finds there is a separate proceeding that may involve similar facts, the Tribunal has discretion to defer consideration of an application until the proceeding has been completed. Such was the question, whether or not to defer the application in the recent interim order in West v.Yogen Fruz Canada Inc.

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Agreement in principle for CPP expansion


On June 20, 2016, the federal government Finance Minister reached an agreement in principle with most of the provincial and territorial Finance Ministers to strengthen the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) for future generations of Canadians.

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Human factors influencing safety in the workplace

Safety is expensive, but an accident is even more costly. All organizations, all business owners, all managers, supervisors and workers in all workplaces need to understand the effect of work performed on the human body and how we influence the demands of the work we do through human interaction. Both of these things relate to the correlation between the worker and the demands of the work they do, known as ergonomics and human factors.

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National Aboriginal Day: Celebrating 20 years

Image: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

On June 21, the summer solstice, National Aboriginal Day is celebrated in Canada. This day of recognition and celebration was established, in cooperation with Indigenous organizations, to honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. While these three groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

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Part 3 of 5: Getting started with people analytics, 10 common questions


In our last two blog posts we covered five of the most common questions and concerns HR professionals raise when considering getting started with workforce analytics. Now let’s move onto two more questions and concerns and how you can overcome them.

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