The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently emailed their latest Court Bulletin indicating that a company that makes plastic auto parts received a hefty fine of $50,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.
Here’s something readers might want to know about: the Federal Court has awarded damages in a case based on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Why is that special? Well, it’s the first damages award in the 10-year history of the Act.
For years I have followed the work of advocacy groups in order to understand the needs of people with disabilities. One issue stands out among the research: the removal and prevention of barriers is vital to provide equal access to daily living. Two recognizable advocacy groups are asking the federal government to get on with a plan of action.
As a workplace violence consultant and subject matter expert, I am well aware that irate customers pose a very real threat to front-line workers. It’s not very often that I am that irate customer.
The mitigation of damages has become a hot employment law issue. In this recent British Columbia case, the employee was entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal after the employer terminated her during the economic downturn. Although the employer argued that the employee failed to mitigate her damages when she did not accept the employer’s subsequent offer of re-employment, the Court found that the uncertainty of work and payment was such that the employee did not act unreasonably when she declined the job offer. Thus, the employee was entitled to 12 months’ termination notice.
All jurisdictions in Canada provide for a number of public (also called statutory or general holidays) holidays each year. Some are common to all jurisdictions; others are specific to individual provinces and territories. Family Day is a public holiday under provincial employment standards legislation, observed the third Monday in February every year in five jurisdictions in Canada.
On February 13, 2011, Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that, in 2010, Canada welcomed the highest number of legal immigrants in more than 50 years (280,636 permanent residents). A day later, New Democrat immigration critic Olivia Chow stated during a press conference that information obtained under an Access to Information Act request revealed that the federal government intends to further reduce the immigration targets for parents and grandparents from 15,300 in 2010 to 11,000.
It is not uncommon in smaller family run or closely held businesses to have a situation where a key employee is also a significant shareholder in the business. However, this can create significant issues if the relationship with the employee changes, particularly if the relationship deteriorates. This is because such employees are subject not only to employment laws, but also can take advantage of shareholder protections.
Although all jurisdictions in Canada require workplaces to provide a first aid kit, first-aid attendant and training, many small to medium-sized businesses are still not complying with the law. Employers need to remember that many potential situations or medical emergencies can occur in the workplace that have the potential to cause injuries and fatalities.
Dealing with disabled employees can be a vexing issue for most employers. A number of questions arise when an employee takes time off either temporarily or permanently due to a disability, whether physical or mental. These issues include:
During my training workshops on workplace discrimination, harassment and violence participants often express interest in the topic of “political correctness.”
Some recent cases make the message to employers very clear: employers cannot minimize or ignore requests for accommodation on the basis of family status. The requests must be treated in the same way as requests for accommodation based on any other protected ground in the human rights legislation.
Alzheimer’s/dementia is becoming a nationwide epidemic and impacting the workforce more and more every day. “Alzheimer’s not only touches more and more lives every day but also impacts the workplace, especially as older people are postponing retirement and continuing to work into their 70s…”