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First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Does the Tribunal have the power to deal with allegations of “unfairness” at work?

Whether or not the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has the power to deal with general allegations of unfairness in the workplace was recently revisited in Murray v. YouthLink.

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Employers should take note – The Interim Report on Ontario’s “Changing Workplaces Review” is now available for comment

Image: www.labour.gov.on.ca

The Interim Report kicks off the next phase of the province–wide consultation on modernizing Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995. Employers should note that August 31, 2016 is the deadline for submissions on the Personal Emergency Leave provisions of the ESA and October 14, 2016 is the deadline for all other submissions.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

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The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: an employee who described their workplace as a “sh*t hole” on Facebook was found to be justly terminated; how to prepare for marijuana legalization in Canada; and a pension and benefit plan provider who breached privacy law, causing an employee to lose life insurance coverage.

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Workplace accommodation has limits

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In Pourasadi v Bentley Leathers Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal found that accommodating a store manager by permitting the employee not to assist customers was not required, since assisting customers was an essential duty of her position.

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Introducing our newest guest blogger: Deveen Hunter

Deveen Hunter

We are very pleased to announce that Deveen Hunter M.Sc., CAPM, CHRL will be blogging regularly on First Reference Talks!

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

PeopleInsight

In our last few blogs we covered numbers 1 through 9 of our list of the 10 most common questions and concerns HR professionals raise when considering getting started with workforce analytics. It’s time now for #10.

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Understanding WSIB’s NEER system more important than ever

Image: www.wsib.on.ca

Ontario’s workers’ compensation system is on the verge of a major overhaul and employers need to be aware of how this change will impact them. As part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to eliminate its significant unfunded liability and to modernize operations, the WSIB has proposed Rate Framework changes that are expected to come into effect in 2019.

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Employers: A shining example of how not to treat your employees

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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly. A prime example of employer misconduct for failing to accommodate and providing reasonable notice is the case of Strudwick v Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc. This case highlights a number of important lessons for employers.

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

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The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: projected salary increases for Canadian employers; an employer’s responsibility regarding protection of its workers from harassment and discrimination online; a denied request for accommodation by a Rastafarian man who claimed that female-only support workers were required by his creed.

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CBSA proposes amendments to NEXUS and other trusted traveler programs

Photo: CBSA website

The Canada Border Services Agency recently announced that it was proposing changes to its Trusted Traveller Programs, which include CANPASS, Free and Secure Trade, and NEXUS. In furtherance of this proposal, CBSA intends to amend the Presentation of Persons (2003) Regulations, which were implemented under the Canadian Customs Act.

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Bore out: Workplace boredom and employer liability

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Despite workplace boredom being a mundane reality of some working lives, it may also be the catalyst for more serious workplace concerns. At the extreme, in limited circumstances, boredom could even form the basis for constructive dismissal.

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Introducing our newest guest blogger: Ann Barrow

Ann Barrow

We are very pleased to announce that Ann Barrow, licensed paralegal, will be blogging regularly on First Reference Talks!

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Pay equity: Employer requirements

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Pay Equity is a requirement on Ontario employers to ensure that workers are paid equally for work of equal value, regardless of their gender. The requirement on employers arises out of the Pay Equity Act, which was passed by the Ontario Government in 1987 and became effective January 1, 1988; there was an amendment to this Act in 1993 as well.

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Supreme Court decision may protect defendants charged with OHSA offences from unreasonable delay

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A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada could have the effect of allowing corporations charged under the OHSA to seek remedies when a trial is unreasonably delayed in a considerably broader swath of cases.

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Arbitrator upholds just cause termination in part on negative Facebook post

Employees on social media

Social media has become entrenched in our society and millions of employees use it on a daily basis. However, employees are warned that making negative comments about their employer’s on social media can have significant repercussions. Arbitrator Norm Jesin recently upheld a just cause termination, in part, because the Grievor had made negative comments about the employer on Facebook after his employment had been terminated.

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